Numerical simulation of hydraulic fracturing and associated microseismicity using finite-discrete element method

Qi Zhao, Andrea Lisjak, Omid Mahabadi, Qinya Liu, Giovanni Grasselli

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) technique has been extensively used for the exploitation of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. HF enhances the connectivity of less permeable oil and gas-bearing rock formations by fluid injection, which creates an interconnected fracture network and increases the hydrocarbon production. Meanwhile, microseismic (MS) monitoring is one of the most effective approaches to evaluate such stimulation process. In this paper, the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) is adopted to numerically simulate HF and associated MS. Several post-processing tools, including frequency-magnitude distribution (b-value), fractal dimension (D-value), and seismic events clustering, are utilized to interpret numerical results. A non-parametric clustering algorithm designed specifically for FDEM is used to reduce the mesh dependency and extract more realistic seismic information. Simulation results indicated that at the local scale, the HF process tends to propagate following the rock mass discontinuities; while at the reservoir scale, it tends to develop in the direction parallel to the maximum in-situ stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-581
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Finite-discrete element method (FDEM)
  • Hydraulic fracturing (HF)
  • Kernel density estimation (KDE)
  • Microseismic (MS)
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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