Open Access Article

Title: Hydraulic fracturing process by using a modified two-dimensional particle flow code - method and validation

Authors: Jian Zhou; Luqing Zhang; Zhenhua Han

Addresses: Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Beijing, 100029, China ' Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Beijing, 100029, China ' Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Beijing, 100029, China; College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

Abstract: Hydraulic fracturing had been proved as a very useful tool for unconventional oil and gas development, where the fracturing fluid is injected into tight reservoirs under high pressure to enhance the permeability of rock mass. Although hydraulic fracturing theory, numerical modelling, and laboratory experiments develops fast, knowledge is still limited when the geological conditions are complex. This paper presents a numerical method - particle flow code (PFC) - and validates its power for hydraulic fracturing modelling in complex conditions. Firstly, the bonded particle method (BPM) and fluid-mechanical coupling mechanism are introduced; secondly, Darcy's flow in circular particles is simulated; thirdly, a series of numerical simulations is carried out to validate its suitability for hydraulic fracturing modelling; finally, the laminated reservoir will be modelled by BPM. The modelling results show good agreement with classical analytical solution and laboratory test results, which demonstrates that the BPM is a useful and strong tool for understanding the fracturing behaviour of reservoir rocks.

Keywords: bonded particle method; BPM; fluid-mechanical coupling mechanism; Darcy flow; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; model validation; pressure breakdown simulation; modified PFC; 2D PFC; particle flow code; modelling; circular particles; laminated reservoirs; fracture behaviour; laminated rocks.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2017.081719

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2017 Vol.17 No.1, pp.52 - 62

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 23 Jan 2017 *