Application of High Power Lasers in Perforation and Fracture Initiation of Oil and Gas Wells
In oil and gas well completion, perforating is a process of creating tunnels through the cemented steel casing and rock formation to let the formation fluid flow into the well. Current explosive shaped charge perforating methods can cause formation damage that results in a reduction of the permeability and necessitates costly post-perforation operations. Fracturing is also the process of initiation and propagation of a crack by pumping fluid at relatively high flow rates to enhance the production of oil and gas wells. This fluid pressure initiates a fracture and extends it into the rock medium. One of the newest technologies recommended as a suitable alternative for conventional perforating methods and fracture initiation is high power laser technology. This paper assesses the efficacy of high power lasers in perforation and fracture initiation of oil and gas wells.
Keywords: High power lasers, oil well, gas well, perforation, fracture initiation, laser beam-rock interaction, sandstone, limestone