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Energies 2017, 10(10), 1619;

Effect of Injection Site on Fault Activation and Seismicity during Hydraulic Fracturing

Key Laboratory of Deep Coal Resource, Ministry of Education of China, School of Mines, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Hydraulic fracturing is a key technology to stimulate oil and gas wells to increase production in shale reservoirs with low permeability. Generally, the stimulated reservoir volume is performed based on pre-existing natural fractures (NF). Hydraulic fracturing in shale reservoirs with large natural fractures (i.e., faults) often results in fault activation and seismicity. In this paper, a coupled hydro-mechanical model was employed to investigate the effects of injection site on fault activation and seismicity. A moment tensor method was used to evaluate the magnitude and affected areas of seismic events. The micro-parameters of the proposed model were calibrated through analytical solutions of the interaction between hydraulic fractures (HF) and the fault. The results indicated that the slip displacement and activation range of the fault first decreased, then remained stable with the increase in the distance between the injection hole and the fault (Lif). In the scenario of the shortest Lif (Lif = 10 m), the b-value—which represents the proportion of frequency of small events in comparison with large events—reached its maximum value, and the magnitude of concentrated seismic events were in the range of −3.5 to −1.5. The frequency of seismic events containing only one crack was the lowest, and that of seismic events containing more than ten cracks was the highest. The interaction between the injection-induced stress disturbance and fault slip was gentle when Lif was longer than the critical distance (Lif = 40–50 m). The results may help optimize the fracturing treatment designs during hydraulic fracturing. View Full-Text
Keywords: coupled hydro-mechanical model; fault slip; seismic event; magnitude; injection pressure coupled hydro-mechanical model; fault slip; seismic event; magnitude; injection pressure

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Chong, Z.; Li, X.; Chen, X. Effect of Injection Site on Fault Activation and Seismicity during Hydraulic Fracturing. Energies 2017, 10, 1619.

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