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Fluids 2019, 4(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids4020076

Discrete Element Simulation of Interaction between Hydraulic Fracturing and a Single Natural Fracture

Rock Mechanics Engineering Division, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, 14115-111 Tehran, Iran
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Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) treatment is performed to enhance the productivity in the fractured reservoirs. During this process, the interaction between HF and natural fracture (NF) plays a critical role by making it possible to predict fracture geometry and reservoir production. In this paper, interaction modes between HF and NF are simulated using the discrete element method (DEM) and effective parameters on the interaction mechanisms are investigated. The numerical results also are compared with different analytical methods and experimental results. The results showed that HF generally tends to cross the NF at an angle of more than 45° and a moderate differential stress (greater than 5 MPa), and the opening mode is dominated at an angle of fewer than 45°. Two effects of changing in the interaction mode and NF opening were also found by changing the strength parameters of NF. Interaction mode was changed by increasing the friction coefficient, while by increasing the cohesion of NF it was less opened under a constant injection pressure.
Keywords: hydraulic fracturing; natural fracture; fracture network; interaction modes hydraulic fracturing; natural fracture; fracture network; interaction modes
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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Basirat, R.; Goshtasbi, K.; Ahmadi, M. Discrete Element Simulation of Interaction between Hydraulic Fracturing and a Single Natural Fracture. Fluids 2019, 4, 76.

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