Verification of Coupled Hydraulic Fracturing Simulators Using Laboratory-Scale Experiments
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
In this work, we aim to verify the predictions of the numerical simulators, which are used for designing field-scale hydraulic stimulation experiments. Although a strong theoretical understanding of this process has been gained over the past few decades, numerical predictions of fracture propagation in low-permeability rocks still remains a challenge. Against this background, we performed controlled laboratory-scale hydraulic fracturing experiments in granite samples, which not only provides high-quality experimental data but also a well-characterized experimental set-up. Using the experimental pressure responses and the final fracture sizes as benchmark, we compared the numerical predictions of two coupled hydraulic fracturing simulators—CSMP and GEOS. Both the simulators reproduced the experimental pressure behavior by implementing the physics of Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) and lubrication theory within a reasonable degree of accuracy. The simulation results indicate that even in the very low-porosity (1–2 %) and low-permeability (10-18m2-10-19m2) crystalline rocks, which are usually the target of EGS, fluid-loss into the matrix and unsaturated flow impacts the formation breakdown pressure and the post-breakdown pressure trends. Therefore, underestimation of such parameters in numerical modeling can lead to significant underestimation of breakdown pressure. The simulation results also indicate the importance of implementing wellbore solvers for considering the effect of system compressibility and pressure drop due to friction in the injection line. The varying injection rate as a result of decompression at the instant of fracture initiation affects the fracture size, while the entry friction at the connection between the well and the initial notch may cause an increase in the measured breakdown pressure. Show more
Journal / seriesRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Pages / Article No.
SubjectLaboratory-experiments; Hydraulic fracturing; Simulation; Leak-off; Fracture toughness; System compressibility; Fracture radius; Acoustic emission
Organisational unit09494 - Saar, Martin O. / Saar, Martin O.
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