Single and multiple transverse fracture initiation from horizontal wells

D. G. Crosby, Mohammed Motiur Rahman, M. K. Rahman, S. S. Rahman

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    The results of an analytical and experimental study of the initiation of transverse fractures from horizontal wells are presented. Analytical criteria for the initiation of single hydraulic fracture are reviewed, and criterion for initiation of multiple hydraulic fractures was developed by modification of the existing Drucker and Prager criterion for single hydraulic fracture initiation. The developed criterion for multiple fracture initiation was validated by comparisons with actual hydraulic fracture initiation pressures, which were obtained from scaled laboratory experiments and numerical results from boundary element analysis. Other criteria are assessed against the experimental results. Experimentally obtained transverse fracture initiation pressures were found close to longitudinal fracture initiation pressures estimated from maximum tensile stress criterion and Hoek and Brown criterion. One possible explanation of this finding is presented. Results from Drucker and Prager criteria for single and multiple fracture initiation were, however, found closer to experimental values. Therefore, These criteria could be useful to engineers involved with hydraulic fracturing for predicting transverse fracture initiation pressures from horizontal wells drilled parallel to the minimum horizontal in-situ stress.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)191-204
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


    • Fracture initiation
    • Hydraulic fracturing
    • Reservoir stimulation
    • Transverse fracture


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