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Proppant transport in dynamically propagating hydraulic fractures using CFD-XFEM approach.

Suri, Yatin; Islam, Sheikh; Hossain, Mamdud

Authors

Sheikh Islam



Abstract

Numerically modelling the fluid flow with proppant transport and fracture propagation together are one of the significant technical challenges in hydraulic fracturing of unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. The existing models either model the proppant transport physics in static predefined fracture geometry or account for the analytical models for defining the fracture propagation. Furthermore, the fluid leak-off effects are usually neglected in the hydrodynamics of proppant transport in the existing models. In the present paper, a dynamic and integrated numerical model is determined that uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique to model the fluid flow with proppant transport and Extended finite element method (XFEM) to model the fracture propagation. The results of fracture propagation were validated with the real field results and analytical models, and the results of proppant transport are validated with the experimental results. The integrated model is then used to comprehensively investigate the hydrodynamical properties that directly affect the near-wellbore stress and proppant distribution inside the fracture. The model can accurately model the proppant physics and also propose a solution to a frequent challenge faced in the petroleum industry of fracture tip screen out. Thus, using the current model allows the petroleum engineers to design the hydraulic fracturing operation successfully, model simultaneously fracture propagation and fluid flow with proppant transport and gain confidence by tracking the distribution of proppants inside the fracture accurately.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 31, 2020
Journal International journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences
Print ISSN 1365-1609
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 131
Article Number 104356
Institution Citation SURI, Y., ISLAM, S.Z. and HOSSAIN, M. 2020. Proppant transport in dynamically propagating hydraulic fractures using CFD-XFEM approach. International journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences [online], 131, article ID 104356. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2020.104356.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2020.104356
Keywords Hydraulic fracturing; XFEM-based cohesive law; Computational fluid dynamics; Proppant transport; Fluid leak-off; Fracture propagation; Fracture tip screen-out

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