Hydraulic fracturing is a proven means of enhancing rock mass permeability in tight reservoirs, which ultimately leads to a more efficient and increased productivity. However, the existence of natural discontinuities, may cause propagation of hydraulic fractures to be arrested or offset. In this paper, simulations of hydraulic fracturing within a reservoir containing one natural discontinuity are conducted to evaluate the behavior of hydraulic fractures when approaching a natural discontinuity. This is done using the discrete element modeling method. A series of simulations were performed to determine the effect of different factors such as the far field stresses, the angle of approach, the intersection distance and the mechanical properties of the discontinuities. The results of the simulations will provide a better understanding of the hydraulic fracture behaviors in the reservoir and will serve as basis for more complex reservoir studies and for the development of a hydraulic fracturing module to be compatible with an existing natural fracture network model.

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