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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compgeo

Research paper

equipped with frictional contact capability

Y. Li a,b, J.G. Deng a,b, W. Liu a,b,, Y. Feng c

a

State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource & Engineering, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China

b

College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China

c

Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: We present a new pore pressure cohesive element for modeling the propagation of hydraulically induced

Received 18 January 2017 fracture. The Park-Paulino-Roesler cohesive zone model has been employed to characterize the fracturing

Received in revised form 1 July 2017 behavior. Coulombs frictional contact model has been incorporated into the element to model the pos-

Accepted 2 July 2017

sible shear reactivation of pre-existing natural fractures. The developed element has been validated

through a series of single-element tests and an available analytical solution. Furthermore, intersection

behaviors between the hydraulic fracture and the natural fracture under various conditions have been

Keywords:

predicted using the present element, which shows good agreement with experimental results.

Hydraulic fracturing

Cohesive zone model

2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Natural fracture

Frictional contact

1. Introduction flow in the fracture can be modeled by the cubic law which relates

the flow rate in the fracture to the fracture width and the fluid

Hydraulic fracturing has been widely used in the petroleum pressure gradient. Usually, linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM)

industry to extract hydrocarbons from reservoirs with ultra-low theory (i.e. fracture propagation occurs if the stress intensity factor

permeability which were previously economically unviable. Dur- equals to the fracture toughness) is used as a criterion for fracture

ing hydraulic stimulation, pressurized fluid is injected into the rock propagation.

formations to create fractures and/or reactivate pre-existing natu- Analytical solutions of fluid-driven fracturing played an impor-

ral fractures [1]. Other applications of hydraulic fracturing include tant role in the design of fracturing treatments in the early time.

the measurement of in situ stress [2,3], preconditioning ore bodies KGD [18,19] and PKN [20,21] models are the two well-known frac-

for caving [4], and stimulation of geothermal reservoirs [5,6]. With turing models, which can predict the behaviors of plane strain bi-

the rapid development of unconventional resources, the initiation wing fractures with constant height. In recent years, the scaling

and propagation of hydraulic fractures in tight rocks have been law and asymptotic framework [7,8,22,23] have been used to

extensively investigated from an analytical perspective [2,711] understand the different propagation regimes of hydraulic frac-

and a numerical point of view [1217]. However, modeling of tures. Analytical methods mentioned above are widely used and

hydraulic fracturing remains a challenging task due to the involved adequate for engineering purposes in the early time. However,

complicated coupled processes [13,14]: (i) rock deformation their applications are limited to simple situations such as constant

caused by the fluid pressure on the fracture faces, (ii) flow of frac- injection rate, simple fracture geometries, and linearly elastic and

turing fluid within the fracture, (iii) fracture propagation, and (iv) homogeneous medium. For hydraulic fracturing treatments in

leak-off of fluid from the fracture into the formation. In addition, unconventional reservoirs featuring low-permeability and pre-

friction between fracture surfaces also plays a significant role in existing natural fractures, complex fracture networks may be

shear reactivation of natural fractures. Generally, the rock defor- created which cannot be adequately described by the simple ana-

mation can be described by the theory of elasticity which relates lytical methods.

the fracture width with the fluid pressure in the fracture. The fluid In order to investigate the hydraulic fracturing in unconven-

tional reservoirs with complex fracture geometry and boundary

conditions, numerical methods are a viable alternative since the

Corresponding author at: College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of

complex practical conditions can be conveniently considered in a

Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China.

numerical model. Various numerical methods have been proposed

E-mail address: liuwei@cup.edu.cn (W. Liu).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2017.07.001

0266-352X/ 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 59

for the simulation of hydraulic fracturing. These methods can be Interfacial friction plays an important role in the shear reactivation

roughly classified into two categories: (1) continuum-based meth- of pre-existing natural fractures, which is one of the main purposes

ods and (2) discontinuum-based methods. of fracturing treatment in unconventional reservoirs [29,35,48].

A representative in the continuum-based methods is the dis- However, the original PPR model can be only used to simulate

placement discontinuity method (DDM). Kresse [24], Zhang the fracturing behaviors of frictionless material. To simulate the

[25,26] and Wu [27,28] used DDM to simulate the propagation of shear reactivation of pre-existing natural fractures, Coulombs fric-

hydraulic fracture and its interaction with pre-existing natural tion law is also incorporated into the cohesive element.

fractures. McClure [29] used DDM to investigate the diagnostic In Section 2, governing equations of the PPCZ element are pro-

fracture injection tests with complex fracture networks. Later, vided. Detailed finite element formulations for this new element

DDM was extended to three dimensions by Wu [30] and McClure are discussed in Section 3. In Section 4, our model is validated

[31]. In the context of finite element methods, Carrier [32], Chen through a series of single-element tests and an available analytical

[14], and Li [33] used pore pressure cohesive element to model solution. Furthermore, the intersection behaviors between the

the fluid-driven fracture. Dahi-Talegahani [16] and Chen [34] sim- hydraulic fracture and the natural fracture have been predicted

ulated hydraulic fracturing using extended finite element method by the PPCZ element and compared to the existing experimental

(XFEM). The above mentioned DDM and XFEM can simulate the results. In Section 5, some advantages and limitations of this new

propagation of hydraulic fracture with arbitrary paths. In addition method are discussed briefly. Finally, some conclusions are given

to the conventional continuum approaches summarized above, in Section 6.

some new continuum approaches have been introduced in recent

year. Wang [35] used the RFPA software to investigate the shear

2. Governing equations

stimulation in naturally fractured reservoirs. Miehe [36], Wick

[37] and Liu [38] used a Phase-Field model to simulate the fluid-

2.1. Fluid flow in the fracture

driven fractures and the interaction between multiple fractures.

Ouchi [39] developed a Peridynamics model to simulate the prop-

The fluid flow in the fracture (Fig. 1) is controlled by the mass

agation of hydraulic fractures in heterogeneous, and naturally frac-

conservation equation:

tured reservoirs. However, until now, large-scale simulation is still

a problem for these new methods. @ qw @ qq

0 1

For typical discontinuum-based methods, continuum domain is @t @s

discretized into a series of separate blocks or particles and fracture

where w is the fracture width; q is the fluid density; q is the volume

propagation is characterized by the separation of these blocks or

flow rate; and s is the coordinate along the fracture.

particles. The discontinuum-based approach is represented by

For a Newtonian fluid, the flow inside the fracture can be

the universal distinct element code (UDEC) and 3 dimensional dis-

described by the cubic law derived from the Poiseuille equation

tinct element code (3DEC). Nagel [40] used the UDEC software to

between two parallel plates:

model the shear reactivation of pre-existing natural fractures

around the hydraulic fracture. The results show that changes of ws; t3 @p

stress field due to hydraulic fracture propagation have a dramatic qs; t 2

12l @s

influence on the shear reactivations of the pre-existing natural

fractures, which, in turn, significantly affect the growth of the where l is the fluid viscosity.

hydraulic fracture. Farzin [41] investigated the initiation and prop- Assuming the fluid is incompressible, combining Eqs. (1) and

agation of hydraulically induced fractures by 3DEC. Another major (2), the following lubrication equation can be obtained:

type of discontinuum-based method is discontinuous deformation

analysis (DDA). Choo [42] and Morgan [43] present a new hydrau- @w @ w3 @p

0 3

lic fracturing model based on DDA. In addition to the continuum- @t @s 12l @s

and discontinuum-based methods, hybrid method, such as the The above equations can be solved with appropriate initial and

finite-discrete element method (FDEM) is also an important boundary conditions. Usually, the conditions at the crack mouth

method for hydraulic fracturing simulation [4446]. and tip of the fracture can be expressed as:

In general, the continuum-based methods have some difficul-

ties in modeling the intersection between hydraulic fracture and qs 0; t q0 t 4

natural fracture while most of the discontinuum methods need a

small time increment due to the explicit integration scheme. ws l; t 0; qs l; t 0 5

Therefore, we try to develop a new model, which is similar to the

discontinuum-based methods but uses an implicit integration where l is the fracture length. In fact, when the first condition in Eq.

scheme to obtain a relatively larger time increment. (5) is satisfied, the second one is fulfilled naturally.

In this paper, we developed a 2D, fully coupled finite element

model to simulate the propagation of hydraulic fractures in tight 2.2. Fracture propagation

rocks. Two types of elements are involved in the finite element

mesh, i.e. bulk elements and pore-pressure cohesive zone (PPCZ) Fracture propagation is assumed to be governed by a cohesive

elements. Zero-thickness PPCZ elements are inserted into any zone model. This model was first proposed by Barenblatt [49] to

two neighboring triangular elements. The propagation, branching, overcome some limitations of the LEFM. It avoids the stress singu-

merging, and intersection of fractures can be captured by the PPCZ larity at the fracture tip and characterizes the nonlinear fracture

elements and the deformation of surrounding matrix is model by process zone ahead of the tip. Generally, this process zone may

bulk elements. For the reason that the bulk element has been experience three stages: elastic, softening, and complete failure.

extensively implemented in many commercial or open source The cohesive zone model has been successfully applied to simulate

FEM codes, we restrict our attention to the development and fracture propagation in various materials from brittle to ductile,

implementation of the PPCZ element in this study. The mechanical such as rocks, cement, and metals [14,15,32,34,5057].

behaviors of the PPCZ element are characterized by Park-Paulino- The behaviors of a cohesive element are governed by a traction-

Roesler (PPR) cohesive zone model proposed by Park [47]. separation law. In this study, the PPR potential-based cohesive law

60 Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870

n

h/t /n i b

Ct /t /t /n 14

n

If the modes I and II energies are the same, the energy constants

are expressed as

a m

Cn /n 15

m

n

b

Ct 16

n

The normal and tangential final crack opening width can be

expressed as

/n a a m1

dn akn 1 kn a1 1 kn 1 17

rmax m m

n1

/t b b

Fig. 1. Fluid flow in a hydraulic fracture. dt bkt 1 kt b1 1 kt 1 18

smax n n

Then the propagation of fracture can be described by the cohe-

is used to characterize the fracture behaviors. The potential func- sive zone model presented above. Note that, in the PPR potential

tion of the cohesive law is defined as follows [47]: cohesive zone model, only /n , /t , rmax , smax , a, b, kn and kt are inde-

pendent variables. Refer to [47,58,59] for more details about this

wDn ; Dt min/n ; /t model.

Dn a m Dn m

Cn 1 h/n /t i

dn a dn 2.3. Interface friction

" b n #

jDt j n jDt j

Ct 1 h/t /n i 6 Shear reactivation of pre-existing natural fractures plays an

dt b dt important role in creating a complex fracture network, which is

where w is the potential function of the cohesive zone model; /n , /t crucial for the successful development of unconventional reser-

are the fracture energies in the normal and tangential direction, voirs. The friction between the fracture surfaces should be consid-

respectively; Cn , Ct are the energy constants in the PPR model; Dn ered in fracture modeling. Although many types of cohesive zone

and Dt are the separations in normal and tangential direction, models are able to model fracture initiation and propagation, most

respectively; dn , dt are the normal and tangential final openings; of them neglect the friction between the sliding surfaces. The cohe-

a, b are the shape function parameters in PPR model; the symbol sive tractions obtained from the potential-based models represent

monotonic separation phenomena. If the frictional sliding along

h i is theMacauley bracket, i.e.

the fracture surfaces is considered, an additional constitutive rela-

0; x 6 0 tionship should be introduced into the PPR potential-based cohe-

hxi 7

x; x > 0 sive zone model.

In this study, a Coulomb friction model is used for characteriz-

the exponents m and n are associated with the initial slope and can

ing the static and sliding frictions between the fracture surfaces, as

be expressed as:

shown in Fig. 2. Cohesive elements will slide if the shear stress

aa 1k2n bb 1k2t exceeds the sliding friction. To simplify the problem, it is assumed

m ; n 8 that the friction coefficient remains the same for static and sliding

1 ak2n 1 bk2t

frictions. Thus, for the sliding elements, the friction traction T f can

where kn and kt are initial slope indicators and determined by the be given as:

ratio of the critical fracture opening to the final fracture opening.

The partial derivatives of the PPR potential function lead to the

normal and tangential cohesive tractions as: Tf

@wDn ; Dt

T n Dn ; Dt 9 f Tn

@ Dn

@wDn ; Dt

T t Dn ; Dt 10 Kt

@ Dt

t (e) t( p) 1

The normal and shear cohesive strengths of the PPR model can

be expressed as:

t

rmax T n Dn ; Dt max 11

smax T t Dn ; Dt max 12

When the modes I and II fracture energies are different, the

f Tn

energy constants Cn and Ct are given by

h/n /t i a m

Cn /n /n /t 13 Fig. 2. Coulomb friction constitutive model.

m

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 61

the end of the i 1th time step can be obtained.

where lf is the friction coefficient and jT n j is the effective normal

stress acting on the surfaces. For the elements that are not

3. Formulations and numerical implementation

sliding, the magnitude of the friction stress T f is in the range from

zero to lf jT n j depending on the external shear stress acting on the

3.1. Pore pressure cohesive element

surfaces.

The tangential separation of the cohesive element is needed to

The cohesive zone model can be easily implemented into the

be calculated with the friction stress at the same time. Generally, it

classic finite element framework. To model hydraulic fracture

cannot be expressed explicitly and thus an iterative technique is

propagation, a new zero-thickness PPCZ element based on PPR

required. The implementation of this technique is analogous to

cohesive zone model is developed in this paper. As shown in

the Mohr-Coulomb plasticity model. At the beginning of the

Fig. 3, a PPCZ element contains 6 nodes. Each node of 14 has

i 1th time step, the total tangential separation increment is

two displacement degrees of freedom, and nodes 5 and 6 only have

assumed as elastic strain, and then the trial tangential friction

the pore pressure degree of freedom. The fluid pressure and flow

traction can be calculated as:

rate in the fracture are discretized on the mid-plane nodes 5 and

stri1 si K t Ddti1 20 6. The fracture width is calculated from the displacement differ-

ence between the upper and lower surfaces. Displacement and

@T t Dn ; Dt 0 fluid pressure are assumed varying linearly over the cohesive ele-

Kt 21 ment. Hence, the separations of element Dx and fluid pressure

@ Dt

pf x at any position can be determined from the nodal values

where si is the tangential friction traction at the end of the previous using linear interpolation functions.

i1 Since the fracture widths are calculated using the local nodal

time step; stri1 is the trial tangential friction traction; Ddt is the

total tangential separation increment; K t is the artificial tangential displacements, the global coordinate X of a cohesive element is

stiffness. first transformed to a local coordinate x:

The frictional slip criterion governing the frictional behavior x RX 28

between surfaces can be defined as:

where R is the coordinate rotation matrix, and is given as:

f stri1 lf jT n j 22

cos h sin h

R 29

If f 6 0, there is no plastic strain in the i 1th time step and sin h cos h

the tangential friction traction st is calculated from the Eq. (20)

directly. where h is the angle between the local and global coordinate

system.

If f > 0, plastic strain exists in the i 1th time step. The

is transformed to the local

The global nodal displacement u

associative flow rule [60] is adopted to compute the plastic

~:

nodal displacement u

strain, i.e. frictional sliding, as

~ Tu

u 30

@f

Ddtp Dk Dk 23

@s where u u1 ; u2 ; . . . ; u7 ; u8 ; T is the displacement transformation

T

The total increment of tangential separation Ddt can be split 2 3

R 0 0 0

into two parts, i.e. an elastic part Ddte and a plastic part Ddtp : 60 R 0 07

6 7

T6 7 31

Ddt Ddte Ddtp 24 40 0 R 05

Substituting Eq. (23) into Eq. (24) gives the elastic strain as:

0 0 0 R

Ddte Dd t Dki1 25

aration can be obtained as:

Then, the following return mapping algorithm (Newton itera- ~ Lu

D ~ 32

tions) is used for calculating the plastic part mentioned above

and the real friction stress si1 : where L is the local displacement-separation relation matrix,

defined as:

(1) The Taylor expansion of f 0 can be written as:

@f

f dDk 0 26

@ Dk

Neglecting the high-order terms result in:

dDk f =dt 27

i

where dt @@fDk ji K t .

(2) The initial value for Dki is 0;

i i

(3) Dki1 Dki dDki Dki f =dt

i1

(4) stri1

s i

K t Dut Dki1

i i1

(5) If f > tol, then Dk Dk and return to (3)

(6) If f 6 tol, then si1 stri1 Fig. 3. A typical configuration of PPCZ element.

62 Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870

2 3

1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 The weak form of the equation governing the behavior of fluid

6 7 flow in the PPCZ element can be obtained from Eqs. (3)(5) as

6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 17

L6

6

7

7 33 follows:

4 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 05 Z

@w @ w3 @pf w3 @pf

0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 dpf dx dpf q0 j

Cc @t @x 12l @x 12l @x x0

Then, the separation fields can be determined as:

w3 @pf

dpf 0 j 0 43

e

Dx NTw D 34 12l @x xle

where Nw is the interpolation function, defined as: Eq. (43) can be rewritten to:

2 le x 3 Z Z

@w w3 @pf @dpf

0 dpf dx dx dpf q0 jx0 44

6

le

7 Cc @t Cc 12l @x @x

6 0 le x 7

Nw 6

6 x

le 7

7 35 The discrete form of Eq. (44) is given as:

4 le 0 5

Z Z

0 x w3

le Np NT1 Bc dx Du Dt Mp MTp dx p DtNp q0 jx0

Cc Cc 12l

where le is the length of fracture, x 2 0; le is the location of the |{z}

I2

point of interest in the local coordinate.

The relationship between local separation field and global nodal 45

displacement can be obtained by substituting Eqs. (30) and (32) u u

, u

is the nodal displacement vector at the end

where Du

into Eq. (34):

of the previous time step.

Dx Bc u 36 Combining Eqs. (42) and (45), the stiffness K and internal force

f int of this new PPCZ element can be obtained:

where Bc is the global nodal displacement-separation relation

" @I1 @I1

#

matrix, Bc NTw LT.

@u @p

Using Eq. (36), the width of the fracture can be expressed as: K @I2 @I2

46

@u @p

T

0

wx NT1 Dx Dx 37

1 I1

f int 47

I2

The fluid pressure is considered as traction acting on the inter-

nal surfaces of failure PPCZ element, which can be given by:

where p p1 ; p2 T is the vector of fluid pressure; Np is the fluid It is essential to test the mechanical and hydraulic behaviors of

pressure interpolation vector, defined as: the new PPCZ element before using it. In this section, the compu-

" # tational implementation of the element is first verified using

le x

Np le

39 single-element tests. Later, the accuracy of the element is validated

x

le against analytical solutions and laboratory experiments. In the

single-element tests, pure mode-I, pure mode-II, and mixed

The partial derivative of Np with respect to the local coordinate mode-II/friction tests are performed. Next, the simulation results

x is given as: of the KGD problem are compared with the asymptotic solutions

@Np provided by Detourney [8]. Finally, simulation results of interac-

Mp 40 tion between hydraulic facture and natural fracture are compared

@x

with the results of laboratory experiments provided by Gu [61].

4.1. Singe-element tests

The weak form of the equation governing the mechanical

The geometries of the single-element tests are shown in Fig. 4. A

behavior of the PPCZ element is obtained from the principle of

PPCZ element is assembled with a bulk element (1 m 1 m). The

virtual work. The total virtual work done by the internal forces

(summation of cohesive and friction traction Tc , and fluid

pressure p) on the internal element surfaces Cc is equal to the

work done by the external forces Text on external element sur-

faces C:

Z Z Z

dD Tc dS dwxpf xdS du Text dS 41

Cc Cc C

where dD, dwx, and du are the virtual separation, virtual width,

and virtual displacement, respectively.

The first-order backward difference scheme is used for time

integration, and the discrete form of Eq. (41) can be given as:

Z Z Z

BTc Tc dS BTc N1 NTp dS p NTw Text dS 42

Cc Cc C

|{z} Fig. 4. Geometries of (a) pure tensile test, (b) pure shear test, and (c) mixed mode-

I1 II/friction test.

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 63

Table 1

Input parameters of the PPR cohesive zone model for the single-element tests.

400 800 4 8 4 4 0.1 0.1 0.6

two lower nodes of the PPCZ element are fixed. Additionally, the friction test is performed to examine the frictional behavior of the

pore pressures of the mid-plane nodes are fixed at zero because PPCZ element. First, a normal stress of 5 MPa is applied on the top

this test focus on the mechanical behavior of the element and of the bulk element; next, the bulk element is stretched to the right

the hydraulic behavior of the element will be validated later. The by 0.3 mm; and then it is displaced to the left by 0.6 mm; finally,

Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio of the bulk element are the element is stretched back to the initial position. Fig. 5(c) shows

10,000 GPa and 0, respectively. The relevant parameters of the the changes of friction stress and total tangential stress with shear

cohesive element are shown in Table 1. displacement during the entire simulation. The friction stress

For the pure mode-I test, the bulk element is stretched at the equals to the product of the normal stress and the friction coeffi-

top with a displacement of 0.3 mm. The stress-displacement rela- cient, and the total tangential stress equals to the summation of

tionship is plotted in Fig. 5(a). The stress initially increases to the the cohesive strength and friction stress. These results indicate that

tensile strength of the element, and then decreases to zero. For the computational implementation of the PPR cohesive zone model

the pure mode-II test, a displacement of 0.3 mm is applied to the is correct.

right side of the bulk element. Similar to the pure mode-I test, as

shown in Fig. 5(b), the shear stress increases to the shear strength

4.2. KGD problem

of the element, and then decreases to zero. Next, a mixed mode-II/

In this section, the PPCZ element is validated by comparing its

results with available analytical solutions for hydraulic fractures

under viscosity-dominated and toughness-dominated conditions.

A bi-wing fracture is created by injecting an incompressible New-

tonian fluid into rock (Fig. 6). The rock is assumed to be imperme-

able and under a plane strain condition. The fluid injection rate is

Q 0 . Fracture half-length lt, fracture aperture wx; t, and net

pressure of the fracture px; t will be determined, where x is the

Table 2

Input parameters for the KGD problem.

Poissons ratio v 0.1

Mode-I fracture energy, J/m2 /n 10 (viscosity, Km 0:304.)

1000 (toughness, Km 5:409.)

2

Mode-II fracture energy, J/m 0

Tensile cohesive strength, MPa rmax 0.04 (viscosity)

8 (toughness)

Shear cohesive strength, MPa smax 1.5

Shape function parameter a 3

Shape function parameter b 3

Initial slope indicator kn 0.001 (viscosity)

0.05 (toughness)

Initial slope indicator kt 0.01

Friction coefficient lf 0.6

Injection rate, m2/s Q0 0.001

Viscosity, Pas l 0.01 (viscosity)

0.001 (toughness)

Fig. 5. Computational results of (a) pure mode-I test, (b) pure mode-II test, and (c)

Minimum principal stress, MPa rh 2

Injection time, s t 10

mixed mode-II/friction test.

64 Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870

distance along the fracture and t is injection time. The analytical where n x=lt is the scaled coordinate 0 6 n 6 1; et is a small

solutions of this problem are provided by Detourney [8] as func- dimensionless parameter; Lt is length scale; c, X, and P are

tions of the injection rate Q 0 and three material parameters E0 , dimensionless fracture length, aperture, and net pressure,

K 0 , and l0 , respectively.

1=2 In viscosity-dominated propagation regime, the aforemen-

E 2 tioned dimensionless parameters can be expressed as follows:

E0 ; K 0

4 K IC ; l0 12l; 48

1 v2 p !1=6

l0 1=3 E0 Q 30

where K IC is the fracture toughness, E is the Young modulus, v is the et 0 ; Lt t 2=3 50

Poisson ratio, and l is the fluid viscosity.

Et l0

The solutions provided by Detourney [8] can be expressed as:

cm0 0:616 51

lt Ltct; wx; t etltXn; t; px; t etE0 Pn; t

49 m0 n A0 1 n2

X

2=3 1

A1 1 n2

5=8

" q p#

10 m 1 1 1 n2

B 4 1 n 2n ln 2 2

p 52

1 1 n2

2m

1 1 2 1 1 10 1 7 1

Initial P1

m0 B ; A02 F 1 ; 1; ; n2 A1 2 F 1 ;1; ; n2

3p 2 3 6 2 7 6 2

crack

B1 2 pjnj

Q0 53

2 80 m 3.2 m 1

where A0 31=2 ; A1 0:156; B1 0:0663; B is the Euler beta

function; and 2 F 1 is a hyper-geometric function.

Cohesive In toughness-dominated propagation regime, the above param-

element eters are defined as:

!1=3 2=3

K 04 E0 Q 0 t

et ; Lt 54

E04 Q 0 t K0

(a) (b)

2

ck0 55

Fig. 7. Geometry and mesh for the numerical model of KGD problem. p2=3

Fig. 8. Comparisons between the numerical and the analytical solution of the KGD problem. (a) Net pressure at the injection point; (b) fracture aperture at the injection point;

(c) net pressure along the fracture length at the end of injection (t = 10 s); (d) fracture aperture along the fracture length at the end of injection (t = 10 s).

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 65

k0 n p1=3 1=2 elements to the far field. There are 40,000 linear quadrilateral ele-

X 1 n2 56

2 ments and 200 zero-thickness PPCZ elements in the model. The

same mesh is used for both cases of viscosity-dominated regime

p1=3 and toughness-dominated regime. A total duration of 10 s of injec-

Pk0 57 tion is simulated.

8

Fig. 8 shows the comparisons between the numerical results

Dimensionless toughness K m can be used to estimate the frac-

and the asymptotic solutions. The temporal evolutions of the net

ture propagation regimes (i.e. viscosity-dominated or toughness-

dominated), which is defined as [8]

Table 3

1=2 1=4

2 K IC 1 v 2 E Input parameters for simulating Gus experiments.

Km 4 58

p E 12lQ 0 1 v 2 Rock parameters

Youngs Modulus, GPa E 10

The hydraulic fracture propagation regime is toughness- Poissons ratio v 0.1

dominated when K m is larger than 4.0, and viscosity-dominated Friction coefficient lf 0.615

when K m is smaller than 1.0. Under the plane strain condition, Tensile strength, MPa rmax 4

the relation between fracturing toughness K IC and fracturing Shear strength, MPa smax 20

Tensile fracturing energy, J/m2 /n 100

energy /n is given as: Shear fracturing energy, J/m2 /t 4500

r Shape function parameter a 3

/n E Shape function parameter b 3

K IC 59

1 v2 Initial slope indicator kn 0.1

Initial slope indicator kt 0.1

The input parameters used for simulations are listed in Table 2.

Natural fracture parameters

The dimensionless toughness K m of viscosity-dominated and Friction coefficient lf 0.615

toughness-dominated regimes are about 0.304 and 5.409, Tensile strength, MPa rmax 0.4

respectively. Shear strength, MPa smax 2

The geometry of the numerical model is shown in Fig. 7(a). The Tensile fracturing energy, J/m2 /n 10

Shear fracturing energy, J/m2 /t 450

size of the half-model is 10 80 m. Symmetric displacement

Shape function parameter a 3

boundary condition is imposed to the left edge. The normal dis- Shape function parameter b 3

placements of the right, top, and bottom edges are fixed. To initial- Initial slope indicator kn 0.05

ize the simulation, a very small hydraulic aperture (0.5 mm) is Initial slope indicator kt 0.05

assigned to two PPCZ elements near the injection point at the mid- Fluid parameters

Pump rate, m2/s Q0 3 108

point of left edge to allow fluid injection. Part of the mesh near the Viscosity, Pas l 1.0

injection point is shown in Fig. 7(b). The model is discretized with Injection time, s t 150

finer elements near the injection point and progressively larger

Fig. 9. (a) Geometry model and (b) mesh topology of the numerical simulation model.

66 Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870

pressure and fracture aperture at the injection point are shown in the end of the simulation (t = 10 s). Far from the near tip region,

Fig. 8(a) and (b), respectively. The numerical results of time history the profiles match very well with the asymptotic solutions. In

plots agree very well with the asymptotic solutions for both the the near tip region, the viscosity-dominated case exhibits a slightly

viscosity-dominated and toughness-dominated conditions. Fig. 8 lower net pressure and aperture than the asymptotic solution. This

(c) and (d) plot the net pressure and fracture aperture profiles at is because that the numerical method and the asymptotic solutions

Fig. 10. Fracture geometries and contours of the magnitude of the displacement in direction x (in meters).

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 67

use different propagation criteria. On the basis of these results it the magnitude of displacement in direction x. First, we compare

can be concluded that the PPCZ element developed in this study the simulation results of two cases ((a) and (b)) with same inter-

is able to accurately capture the viscosity-dominated and the section angle 45. Case (a) and case (b) have the same rh .

toughness-dominated solutions. (6.895 MPa) but different rH (8.27 MPa and 17.24 MPa, respec-

tively). Fig. 10(a) and (b) shows the simulation results of case (a)

4.3. Interaction between hydraulic fracture (HF) and natural fracture and (b). The domains are colored with the magnitudes of the dis-

(NF) placement in direction x with a color bar that is depicted on the

bottom-left of each plot (in meters). It can be observed that the

The new element is also used to simulate the experiments of HF propagates along the direction of the maximum stress in the

interaction between HF and NF in sandstone by Gu [61]. In exper- early time and only deflects into the right wing of the NF when

iments, six Colton sandstone samples with a tensile strength of the HF hits the NF. This is because the opening of the vertical HF

588 psi (4.054 MPa) were used. The size of the sandstone blocks tends to push the left-wing of NF close while helps to pull the

is 11 11 15 inches (28 28 38 cm). The friction coefficient right-wing of NF open. However, because of the different stress

of the interface is 0.615, and the cohesion of the interface is nearly contrasts, there are significant differences between the deforma-

zero. Silicon oil with a kinematic viscosity of 1000 cSt (correspond- tion behavior of NFs in case (a) and (b). It seems that the NF is acti-

ing dynamic viscosity is 1.0 Pas) was injected into the wellbore vated in pure tension (mode I) in case (a) while is activated in pure

drilled in the blocks at a constant rate of 30 mL/min. shear (mode II) in case (b). This difference is to be expect because

To simulate Gus experiment using the PPCZ elements, the typ- they have different normal and shear stress acting on the surfaces

ical geometry and mesh scheme are shown in Fig. 9. The model is of NFs.

under plane-strain condition with a size of 30 cm 30 cm. PPCZ Next, according to the experiments, we consider the cases

elements are inserted into any two neighboring triangular bulk shown in Fig. 10(c) and (d) with same intersection angle 75. The

elements as shown in Fig. 9(b). Constant stress boundaries are stress conditions of case (c) and (d) are same with the case (a)

imposed on the outer boundaries: surface pressure rh is imposed and (b), respectively. In Fig. 10(c), as with the case (a), the HF

on the left and right surfaces, and surface pressure rH is imposed grows vertically until it hits the natural fracture, and then diverts

on the top and bottom surfaces. Due to some parameters required into the NF. However, the zoomed-in view of the near-

for the numerical simulation were not provided explicitly in Gus intersection region in case (c) shows that the left-wing of natural

article [61], for better comparison between the numerical and fracture is also activated because the aforementioned push effect

experimental results, the input parameters used in the numerical acting on the left-wing of NF decreases as the intersection angle

model are chosen as reasonable as possible. The input parameters increases. In Fig. 10(d), the HF grows vertically in the early time,

for the modeling are reported in Table 3. and then directly crosses the NF without diversion because of the

Six cases are simulated with different stress contrasts and inter- larger interfacial friction along the natural fracture induced by

section angles. Fig. 10 shows the fracture profiles and contours of larger rH and intersection angle.

Table 4

Comparison between the numerical and experimental results.

a 45 8.27 6.895 No crossing No crossing

b 45 17.24 6.895 No crossing No crossing

c 75 8.27 6.895 No crossing No crossing

d 75 17.24 6.895 Crossing Crossing

e 90 7.58 6.895 No crossing No crossing

f 90 13.79 6.895 Crossing Crossing

Fig. 11. (a) Distribution of natural fractures; (b) finite element meshes.

68 Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870

Fig. 12. Effect of friction coefficient on the evolution of fracture network. (a) friction coefficient = 0.4; (b) friction coefficient = 0.6; (c) friction coefficient = 0.8; (d) friction

coefficient = 1.0.

The last two simulations have been carried out for the cases or fillings. To investigate the effect of friction coefficient of NFs

(e and f) with an orthogonal intersection angle. According to the on the evolution of fracture network during hydraulic fracturing

experiments, in Fig. 10(e), we provide the simulation result of case treatment, we conducted a sensitivity analysis that considered 4

subjected to a small stress contrast condition (rH 7:58 MPa, different NF friction coefficients (0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0). The geometry

rh 6:895 MPa). The HF propagates vertically initially, and then of the model and the distribution of NFs in the domain are shown

the first element of left-wing and right-wing of NF are activated in Fig. 11(a). The angle between NFs and y-axis are 75. The size of

at time t = 105 s, as shown in the zoomed-view of Fig. 10(e). At the model is 40 40 m, and injection point is positioned at the

later times, the upper branch of the HF terminates at the intersec- center of the domain. The domain was discretized into triangular

tion point and only the lower branch of the HF grows as the injec- elements, as shown in Fig. 11(b). Zero-displacement and no-flow

tion continues. According to the experiments, rH is increased to conditions were imposed on the outer boundaries. The magnitudes

13.79 MPa in case (f). In this case, as shown in Fig. 10(f), the HF of minimum and maximum principal stresses are 10 and 14 MPa,

crosses the NF directly as if the NF does not exist. respectively. The minimum and maximum principal stresses are

The comparisons between the numerical and experimental along the x-axis and y-axis, respectively. The injection rate is

results are shown in Table 4. The comparisons show there is a good 0.0002 m2/s, and the viscosity of fluid is 1.0 mPas. The other input

agreement in the intersection behaviors of the fractures between parameters are assumed to be the same as those listed in Table 3. A

the numerical modeling and the experimental observation. These total duration of 200 s of injection is simulated.

results suggest that the PPCZ element can reasonably capture the Fracture patterns for 4 cases with different NF friction coeffi-

intersections between HF and NF during the hydraulic fracturing cients are shown in Fig. 12. The bold gray lines represent the

treatments. pre-existing NF elements, the blue lines represent the activated

HF elements, and the red1 lines represent the activated NF elements.

In Fig. 12(a), HF propagates vertically in the early time, and then

5. Effect of friction coefficient on the evolution of fracture

deflects into NFs, and then turns back to the direction of maximum

network

For interpretation of color in Fig. 12, the reader is referred to the web version of

NF, may differ considerably for NFs with different roughness and/ this article.

Y. Li et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 5870 69

principal stress after the coming out from the NFs. In Fig. 12(b), as to describe the interfacial friction. The discrete governing equa-

with the case (a), one can clearly see that the type of most intersec- tions for the PPCZ element are derived. The element is imple-

tion of HF and NF can be classified as turning crossing-type. Unlike mented into the commercial finite element software ABAQUS/

the case (b), most intersection in case (c) and all intersection in case Standard and validated through a series of single-element tests

(d) are direct crossing type, as shown in Fig. 12(c) and (d). These and available analytical solutions of the viscosity-dominated and

results indicate that HF is more likely to directly cross NFs than to toughness-dominated KGD problem. Further simulation results

deflect into and propagate along the NFs as the friction coefficient show that the PPCZ element is able to capture the interaction

of NFs increase, which implies that the low friction coefficient of behaviors of hydraulic fracture and natural fracture and is effective

NF tends to increase complexity of fracture geometry. for simulating the hydraulic fracture propagation in naturally frac-

tured reservoirs. It is recommended to use the PPCZ element to

simulate hydraulic fracture propagation in impermeable or low-

6. Discussions

permeable reservoirs because the poroelastic effect and fluid leak-

off have not been taken into account.

Numerical simulation of the hydraulic fracture propagation is a

Future work could include extending the PPCZ element to 3D

challenging task because of multiple coupled physical mecha-

and considering complex fluid flow models, shearing-induced dila-

nisms, strong nonlinear behaviors of the coupling between fracture

tion of the fractures, and proppant transport in the fractures.

propagation and fluid flow, and the existences of the natural frac-

tures and other discontinuous structures. As stated in Section 1,

many numerical methods have been developed to reproduce the Acknowledgements

process of hydraulic fracture propagation. Each of those methods

has its own strengths and weaknesses. The PPCZ element proposed This work is financially supported by National Natural Science

in this paper is no exception. In this section, the advantages and Found (No. 11502304), and National Science and Technology Major

limitations of the PPCZ element compared with other methods Project (2016ZX05058002-006), and China University of Petro-

are discussed briefly. leum, Beijing (No. 2462013YJRC023, No. C201601).

The main advantage of the PPCZ element is the ability to simu-

late the branching and intersection of the fractures as a natural

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