Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A new CFD approach for proppant transport in unconventional hydraulic fractures.

Suri, Yatin; Islam, Sheikh Zahidul; Hossain, Mamdud



For hydraulic fracturing design in unconventional reservoirs, the existing proppant transport models ignore the fluid leak-off effect from the fracture side wall and the effect of fracture roughness. In this paper, a model is proposed using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics approach with fluid leak-off rate defined along the fracture length and considering the effect of fracture roughness on proppant distribution. Based on the simulation results, it is recommended that neglecting the fracture roughness in the proppant transport model can result in over predicting the proppant bed length and underpredicting the proppant suspension layer by 10–15%. Furthermore, neglecting the fluid leak-off effect can result in under predicting the proppant bed height by 10–50% and over predicting the proppant suspension layer by 10–50%. This study has enhanced the understanding of the proppant-fracturing fluid interaction phenomenon by accounting detailed physics to optimise the hydraulic fracturing design.


SURI, Y., ISLAM, S.Z. and HOSSAIN, M. 2019. A new CFD approach for proppant transport in unconventional hydraulic fractures. Journal of natural gas science and engineering [online], 70, article number 102951. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 30, 2019
Publication Date Oct 31, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 31, 2020
Journal Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Print ISSN 1875-5100
Electronic ISSN 2212-3865
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Article Number 102951
Keywords Proppant transport; Hydraulic fracturing; Computational fluid dynamics; Discrete element method; Fluid leak-off; Fracture roughness
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations