Influence of liquid-nitrogen freezing of gas-bearing shale rocks on their compressive strength

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Any definable relation between falling temperature and the compressive strength of shale rocks should provide a useful predictive tool aiding optimization of the results of hydraulic fracturing. In this research, an automeasuring hydraulic press, a thermo-camera and the Fluent ANSYS software were used. The results of laboratory simulations, and the effects of experiments conducted on shale rocks to determine permanent changes in compressive strength, are presented. As both frozen rocks and rocks returned to room temperature show diminished compressive strength. It is suggested that prior freezing of rocks can increase the efficiency of fracturing.

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