Definition - What does Fracture Gradient mean?
Fracture gradient is the slope and pressure that is required in order to induce a fracture in the rock bed. The determination of the fracture gradient is an extremely crucial process, as it helps in conducting safe drilling practices while accessing an oil well. It is important to consider the slope and depth while drilling a well so that circulation is not hindered. In order to find out this gradient, tests such as leak-off tests are carried out. There are other factors along with fracture gradient that need to be paid attention to while drilling an oil well.
Petropedia explains Fracture Gradient
Fracture gradient is the slope and pressure required in order to initiate a fracture or a crack into a rock formation. It is necessary to break into the arrangement of the rocks underground, so that conducive channels can be prepared for the oil and gas to flow easily. When fracturing is to be done, several factors should be considered, such as the slope, depth and pressure required to break the formation. It is through fracture gradient determination that these factors are taken care of by carrying out a leak-off test prior to the fracturing.