397289 Exploring Properties of Conceptual Models for Hydraulic Fracture Network Growth

Monday, November 17, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Sid Senthilnathan, Department of Chemical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Three conceptual models for complex fracture network growth due to hydraulic fracturing (simple geometry, PFSSL, and MMS) were explored using discrete fracture network simulation. Simple geometry models, variants of which are commonly used in industry, neglect the effects of natural fractures present in the reservoir pre-stimulation. PFSSL (primary fracture with shear stimulated leakoff) and MMS (mixed-mechanism stimulation) are alternative models which account for interactions between natural and newly formed hydraulic fractures. The investigation centered on finding physical consistency with the parameters of fracture network length, stress and heterogeneity effects, and pressure trends. It is found that simulations of the simple geometry model yield results that are not physically realistic, while results of PFSSL and MMS simulations show better correlation with experimental data, including fracture length and geometries predicted by microseismic studies. This study uses CFRAC, a leading 2D simulator of fracture network growth that efficiently couples fluid flow and geomechanical deformation in low-permeability reservoirs.

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