Numerical Simulation of Complex Hydraulic Fracture Development by Coupling Geo-mechanical and Reservoir Simulator



Hydraulic fracturing is one of the standard techniques adopted by oil and gas industries to enhance production in unconventional reservoirs. Reservoir properties and treatment designs have a significant influence on the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing treatments. Extensive studies on the mechanism of hydraulic fracturing have been conducted to optimize the hydraulic fracturing design. Recent advances in fracture diagnostic technology have brought new insights to the complex fracture geometry. Numerical simulation is an economical approach to investigate the generation of fracture geometry and its effect on post-treatment production enhancement. This work proposes a workflow to study the fracture complexity through coupling the geomechanical simulator Irazu and the reservoir simulator CMG. The geo-mechanical simulator is devised to simulate the hydraulic fracturing process employing the hybrid finite discrete element method while the reservoir simulator CMG is used for the reservoir posttreatment production forecast.



Prior to the actual fracturing treatment, numerical simulation of the treatment can provide a prediction on the reservoir response to different injection schemes, allowing for optimization on the treatment design. As is observed both in field cases and laboratory experiments, a few factors play crucial roles affecting the production enhancement, such as the complexity of the fracture network created by the injection. With the capability of the flow simulator CMG, the reservoir response to the different fracture network generated can be studied.

CMG IMEX is a reservoir simulator that can forecast flow behavior during reservoir activities such as production, water flooding, hydraulic fracturing, or other reservoir treatments. It employs an implicit finite difference time integration scheme to calculate reservoir pressure and temperature, allowing for larger time step size to save the computation cost.