Finite Element Solution of Nonlinear Transient Rock Damage with Application in Geomechanics of Oil and Gas Reservoirs

S. Enayatpour[1], T. Patzek[1]
[1]The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

The increasing energy demand calls for advances in technology which translate into more accurate and complex simulations of physical problems. Understanding the rock damage is essential to understanding the geomechanics of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The fragile microstructure of some rocks makes it difficult to predict the propagation of fracture in these rocks, therefore a mathematical model is required to predict the fracture mechanisms in such materials. The governing equation of rock damage is a nonlinear parabolic PDE. The physics of the problem imposes a number of complexities that should be handled numerically. In this paper, we present the results we obtained using COMSOL 3.5a and show how a complicated problem can be solved using the finite element method incorporated in COMSOL.