Hydraulic Fracture Height Growth Under the Combined Influence of Stress Barriers and Natural Fractures
- Jixiang Huang (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) | Joseph P. Morris (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) | Pengcheng Fu (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) | Randolph R. Settgast (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) | Christopher S. Sherman (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) | Fredrick J. Ryerson (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, 23-25 January, The Woodlands, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Not subject to copyright. This document was prepared by government employees or with government funding that places it in the public domain.
- 2 Well completion, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.4 Hydraulic Fracturing
- Stress Barrier, Natural Fracture, Fracture Height, Hydraulic Fracture, Fracture Mechanics
- 4 in the last 30 days
- 571 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 8.50|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 25.00|
Fracture height control is an important concern in stimulation design. Existing knowledge of interaction mechanisms between hydraulic fractures, natural fractures, and source rock fabric has been largely obtained from 2D or pseudo-3D models. The recent advances in full-3D hydraulic fracture modeling capabilities reveal previously-unknown 3D interaction mechanisms on fracture height growth. A fully coupled finite element/finite volume code is used for modeling 3D hydraulically driven fractures with arbitrary geometries under the influence of natural fractures and stress barriers. Both hydraulic fractures and natural fractures are represented in a unified framework by split interfaces between solid elements that represent the rock continuum. Fracture flow elements and frictional contacts are deployed along the split interface, generating fluid pressure and contact stress applied to the rock faces on both sides as traction boundary conditions. Fracture dilation/propagation/sliding and the resultant stress alteration are natural outcomes of the model.
The current study focuses on the influence of strong variations in closure stress interacting with natural fractures upon hydraulic fracture propagation. We observe that the slipping of a natural fracture, triggered by elevated fluid pressure from an intersecting hydraulic fracture, can induce both increases and decreases of normal stress in the minimum horizontal stress direction, toward the center and tip of the natural fracture respectively. Consequently, we expect that natural fractures can both encourage and inhibit the progress of hydraulic fractures propagating through stress barriers, depending upon the relative locations between the intersecting fractures. Once the hydraulic fracture propagates above the stress barrier through the weaken segment near a favorably located natural fracture, a configuration consisting of two opposing fractures cutting the stress barrier from above and below forms. The fluid pressure required to break the stress barrier under such opposing-fracture configuration is substantially lower than that required by a fracture penetrating the same barrier from one side. Sensitivity studies of geologic conditions and operational parameters have also been performed to explore the feasibility of controlled fracture height. We demonstrate that the interactions between hydraulic fractures, natural fractures, and geologic factors such as stress barriers in 3D are much more complex than in 2D. Although it is impossible for a specific study to exhaust all the possible configurations, we demonstrate the ability of a 3D, fully coupled numerical model to naturally capture these processes.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||22|
Banks-Sills, L., 1991. Application of the Finite Element Method to Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics. ASME. Appl. Mech. Rev. 44(10):447-461. doi:10.1115/1.3119488.
Carlson, E. S., Mercer, J. C, 1991. Devonian Shale Gas Production: Mechanisms and Simple Models. Society of Petroleum Engineers. SPE Journal 43(4). Doi:10.2118/19311-PA
Fu, P., Johnson, S. M. and Carrigan, C. R., 2013. An explicitly coupled hydro-geomechanical model for simulating hydraulic fracturing in arbitrary discrete fracture networks. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech., 37: 2278-2300. doi:10.1002/nag.2135
Gu, H., Weng, X., Lund., J., Mark, M., Ganguly, U., Suares-Rivera, R., 2012. Hydraulic Fracture Crossing Natural Fracture at Nonorthogonal Angles: A Criterion and Its Validation. SPE Production & Operations 27(1). https://doi.org/10.2118/139984-PA.
Guo, B., Fu. P., Hao, Y., Peters, C., Carrigan, C., 2016. Thermal drawdown-induced flow channeling in a single fracture in EGS. Geothermics 61: 46-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2016.01.004
Guo, J., Zhao, X., Zhu, H., Zhang, X., Pan, R., 2015. Numerical simulation of interaction of hydraulic fracture and natural fracture based on the cohesive zone finite element method. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 25: 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.05.008
Tada, H., Paris, P., Irwin, G., 2000. The Stress Analysis of Cracks Handbook, Third Edition. Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:10.1115/1.801535
Taleghani, A., Olson, J., 2013. How Natural Fractures Could Affect Hydraulic-Fracture Geometry. SPE Journal 19(1),, doi: 10.2118/167608-PA
Nolte, K.G. and Smith, M.G. 1981. Interpretation of FracturingPressures. J. Pet Tech 33 (9): 1767-1775. SPE-8297-PA.doi: 10.2118/8297-PA.
Potluri, N., Zhu, D., Hill, A., 2005. The Effect of Natural Fractures on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation. SPE European Formation Damage Conference, 25-27 May, Sheveningen, The Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.2118/94568-MS
Rezaee, R., 2015. Fundamentals of Gas Shale Reservoirs. John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781119039228.
Settgast, R., Johnson, S., Fu, P., Walsh, S., 2014. Simulation of hydraulic fracture networks in three dimensions utilizing massively parallel computing resources. SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA. DOI: 10.15530/urtec-2014-1923299
Settgast, R, Fu, P, Walsh, S, White, J, Annavarapu, C, Ryerson, F, 2017. A fully coupled method for massively parallel simulation of hydraulically driven fractures in 3-dimensions. International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics 41(5): 627-653. DOI: 10.1002/nag.2557
Simonson, E. R., Abou-Sayed, A. S., and Clifton, R. J., 1978. Containment of Massive Hydraulic Fractures. SPE J. 18 (1): 27-32. SPE-6089-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/6089-PA.
Warpinski, N.R., Clark, J.A., Schmidt, R.A., and Huddle, C.W. 1982a. Laboratory Investigation on the Effectof In-Situ Stresses on Hydraulic Fracture Containment. SPE J.22 (3): 333-340. SPE-9834-PA. doi: 10.2118/9834-PA.
Warpinski, N.R., Schmidt, R.A., and Northrop, D.A. 1982b. In-Situ Stresses: The PredominantInfluence on Hydraulic Fracture Containment. J. Pet Tech34 (3): 653-664. SPE-8932-PA. doi: 10.2118/8932-PA.
Yang, C., King, M., Datta-Gupta, A., 2017. Rapid Simulation of Naturally Fractured Unconventional Reservoirs with Unstructured Grids Using the Fast Marching Method. SPE Reservoir Simulation Conference, 20-22 February, Montgomery, Texas. https://doi.org/10.2118/182612-MS