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A review of creation and propagation of complex hydraulic fracture network
Author(s): 
Pages: 562-569
Year: Issue:  4
Journal: Oil & Gas Geology

Keyword:  propagation patternintersection criterioncoupled seepage-stress-fracture propagationextended finite ele-ment methodnetwork fracturenatural fracture;
Abstract: With the accelerated process of the exploration and exploitation of natural fractured reservoir , coal bed me-thane,shale gas,tight gas,tight oil and complex lithology reservoir with low and/or ultra-low permeability,simulation of hydraulic fracture propagation is faced with big challenges from volume fracturing and real -time microseismic monitoring of hydraulic fracture .The propagation behaviors of complex fracture network are affected by reservoir lithology ,geome-chanics and natural fracture characteristics ,etc .Research on the influences of natural fractures on the propagation of hy-draulic fractures both at home and abroad was reviewed in this paper .The mechanical behaviors before ,during and after the intersection of hydraulic fracture with pre-existing natural fracture determine the propagation of hydraulic fractures and the creation of fracture network .Before their intersection ,tensile or shear debonding of cemented pre-existing natural fractures may start when induced fractures tip approaching .During their intersection , the natural fractures might be sheared to cause abundant fracturing fluid filtration , while the hydraulic fractures might penetrate natural fractures and propagate along the original path ,or be arrested to propagate along the direction of natural fractures and re-initiate at its terminal or weak structure point .After their intersection ,a complex fracture network may be formed with the simultaneous propagation of multiple fracture tips .True triaxial fracturing test system , combined with industrial computed tomography (CT)scan,acoustic emission device and X-ray diffraction,is the principal laboratorial means of studying the generation mechanism of complicated fracture network , while unconventional fracture model and extended finite element method ( XFEM) are the main numerical methods for simulation of complex fracture network .XFEM is the most effective approach to deal with discontinuous analysis especially crack propagation problem ,and has all the advantages of the finite element methods.As fracture fluid pressure is the driving force for hydraulic fracture propagation , XFEM-based seepage flow-stress-fracture propagation coupling is the future trend of complex fracture network propagation simulation .
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