Breakdown Pressure

Published: May 9, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Breakdown Pressure Mean?

Breakdown pressure also known as formation fracturing pressure, is an important parameter in hydraulic fracturing design, and one of the parameters used to measure the maximum horizontal stress in a formation. Breakdown pressure is obtained during stress measurements conducted for hydraulic fracturing.

The parameter value is estimated by conducting in-situ stress analysis, and its magnitude depends on formation depth and its properties.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Breakdown Pressure

When the rock matrix of an exposed formation fractures and allows fluid to be injected, it is known as the breakdown pressure. When downhole pressure exceeds breakdown pressure and loss threshold during drilling, there can be a significant amount of fluid loss. The breakdown pressure may be higher or lower than the loss threshold.

Before determining parameters for reservoir treatment, it is necessary to establish breakdown pressure because for matrix stimulation treatments, the treatment pressure should be below the breakdown pressure, while hydraulic fracturing operations are conducted above the breakdown pressure.


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