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Energies 2016, 9(6), 414; doi:10.3390/en9060414

Numerical Modeling of Variable Fluid Injection-Rate Modes on Fracturing Network Evolution in Naturally Fractured Formations

Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
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Academic Editor: Vasily Novozhilov
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 23 April 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
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Abstract

In this study, variable injection-rate technology was numerically investigated in a pre-existing discrete fracture network (DFN) formation, the Tarim Basin in China. A flow-stress-damage (FSD) coupling model has been used in an initial attempt towards how reservoir response to variable injection-rates at different hydraulic fracturing stages. The established numerical model simultaneously considered the macroscopic and microscopic heterogeneity characteristics. Eight numerical cases were studied. Four cases were used to study the variable injection-rate technology, and the other four cases were applied for a constant injection-rate in order to compare with the variable injection-rate technology. The simulation results show that the variable injection-rate technology is a potentially good method to a form complex fracturing networks. The hydraulic fracturing effectiveness when increasing the injection-rate at each stage is the best, also, the total injected fluid is at a minimum. At the initial stage, many under-fracturing points appear around the wellbore with a relatively low injection-rate; the sudden increase of injection rate drives the dynamic propagation of hydraulic fractures along many branching fracturing points. However, the case with decreasing injection rate is the worst. By comparing with constant injection-rate cases, the hydraulic fracturing effectiveness with variable flow rate technology is generally better than those with constant injection-rate technology. This work strongly links the production technology and hydraulic fracturing effectiveness evaluation and aids in the understanding and optimization of hydraulic fracturing simulations in naturally fractured reservoirs. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic fracturing; variable injection-rate technology; numerical simulation; hydraulic fracturing effectiveness hydraulic fracturing; variable injection-rate technology; numerical simulation; hydraulic fracturing effectiveness
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, Y.; Li, X.; Zhang, B. Numerical Modeling of Variable Fluid Injection-Rate Modes on Fracturing Network Evolution in Naturally Fractured Formations. Energies 2016, 9, 414.

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