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Title: Modeling the Interaction Between Hydraulic and Natural Fractures Using Dual-Lattice Discrete Element Method

The interaction between hydraulic fractures (HF) and natural fractures (NF) will lead to complex fracture networks due to the branching and merging of natural and hydraulic fractures in unconventional reservoirs. In this paper, a newly developed hydraulic fracturing simulator based on discrete element method is used to predict the generation of complex fracture network in the presence of pre-existing natural fractures. By coupling geomechanics and reservoir flow within a dual lattice system, this simulator can effectively capture the poro-elastic effects and fluid leakoff into the formation. When HFs are intercepting single or multiple NFs, complex mechanisms such as direct crossing, arresting, dilating and branching can be simulated. Based on the model, the effects of injected fluid rate and viscosity, the orientation and permeability of NFs and stress anisotropy on the HF-NF interaction process are investigated. Combined impacts from multiple parameters are also examined in the paper. The numerical results show that large values of stress anisotropy, intercepting angle, injection rate and viscosity will impede the opening of NFs.
 [1] ;  [2] ;
  1. Universiyt of Utah
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
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Conference: 49th U>S> Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium San Francisco, CA 06/28/2015 - 07/01/ 2015
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
02 PETROLEUM Hydraulic Fracturing; Natural Fracture