Investigation on Numerical Modeling Aspects of Hydraulic Fracturing

C. Vinci, J. Renner, and H. Steeb
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Bochum, Germany

During hydraulic fracturing processes, several coupled mechanical and hydraulical phenomena take place.

We investigate an elastically deformable fluid-filled fracture embedded in a porous rock matrix. Despite the substantial number of previous modeling approaches, a clear insight into the numerical solution procedure of high pressure fluid injection in a fracture has not been gained. We use COMSOL for different finite element-based staggered solution schemes and a fully coupled approach.The latter is based on the implementation of Biot´s quasi-static poroelastic equations.

We compare and critically discuss the results obtained with the presented different solution approaches. This information provides an improved understanding of various physical phenomena accompanying hydraulic fracturing, thus building the basis for more complex multi-joint hydraulic fracturing investigations on larger scales.