Numerical simulation of hydraulic fracturing

Summary

The aim of this project is to develop a 3D hydraulic fracturing simulator that couples fluid-proppant-rock interactions within the framework of material point method (MPM).

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor Luming Shen

Research Location

Civil Engineering

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

Hydraulic fracturing is widely used to increase the conductivity of reservoirs with low permeability and thus to enhance the rates of oil and gas extraction. Hydraulic fracturing is a complicated process to model and involves the coupling of at least three basic processes: (i) the fluid pressure induced rock deformation; (ii) the fluid flow within the fracture; and (iii) the fracture propagation. In particular, the proppant distribution within the fracture network plays a significant role as the conductivity of the unpropped fractures dramatically decreases with increasing effective stress and decreasing rock Young's modulus. The student is expected to develop a 3D hydraulic fracturing simulator that couples fluid-proppant-rock interactions within the framework of material point method (MPM). The proposed research will contribute to the more effective and environmentally sustainable resource recovery processes.

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Keywords

hydraulic fracturing; fluid-proppant-rock interactions; material point method; unconventional reservoir

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2754

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