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Water 2016, 8(9), 393; doi:10.3390/w8090393

Numerical Study on the Permeability of the Hydraulic-Stimulated Fracture Network in Naturally-Fractured Shale Gas Reservoirs

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: M. Levent Kavvas
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 5 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
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Abstract

As hydraulic fracturing is a fluid-rock coupling process, the permeability of the hydraulic-stimulated fracture network in the initial stage has great effects on the propagation of the hydraulic fracture network in the following stages. In this work, the permeability of the hydraulic-stimulated fracture network in shale gas reservoirs is investigated by a newly-proposed model based on the displacement discontinuity method. The permeability of the fracture network relies heavily on fracture apertures, which can be calculated with high precision by the displacement discontinuity method. The hydraulic fracturing processes are simulated based on the natural fracture networks reconstructed from the shale samples in the Longmaxi formation of China. The flow fields are simulated and the permeability is calculated based on the fracture configurations and fracture apertures after hydraulic fracturing treatment. It is found that the anisotropy of the permeability is very strong, and the permeability curves have similar shapes. Therefore, a fitting equation of the permeability curve is given for convenient use in the future. The permeability curves under different fluid pressures and crustal stress directions are obtained. The results show that the permeability anisotropy is stronger when the fluid pressure is higher. Moreover, the permeability anisotropy reaches the minimum value when the maximum principle stress direction is perpendicular to the main natural fracture direction. The investigation on the permeability is useful for answering how the reservoirs are hydraulically stimulated and is useful for predicting the propagation behaviors of the hydraulic fracture network in shale gas reservoirs. View Full-Text
Keywords: displacement discontinuity method; hydraulic fracture; shale gas; numerical modelling; complex fracture network; permeability displacement discontinuity method; hydraulic fracture; shale gas; numerical modelling; complex fracture network; permeability
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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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Zhang, Z.; Li, X.; He, J. Numerical Study on the Permeability of the Hydraulic-Stimulated Fracture Network in Naturally-Fractured Shale Gas Reservoirs. Water 2016, 8, 393.

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