The fluid injection into deep geological formations altar the states of pore pressure and stress on the faults, potentially causing earthquakes. In the multiphase flow system, the interaction between fluid flow and mechanical deformation in porous media is critical to determine the spatio-temporal distribution of pore pressure and stress. The contrast of fluid and rock properties between different structures produces the changes in pressure gradients and subsequently stress fields. Assuming two- phase fluid flow (gas-water system), we simulate the two-dimensional reservoir including a basement fault, in which injection- induced pressure encounters the fault directly given injection scenarios. The single-phase flow model with the same setting is also conducted to evaluate the multiphase flow effects on mechanical response of the fault to gas injection. A series of sensitivity tests are performed by varying the fault permeability. The presence of gaseous phase reduces the pressure buildup within the gas- saturated region, causing less Coulomb stress change. The low-permeability fault prevent diffusion initially as observed in the single-phase flow system. Once gaseous phase approaches, the fault acts as a capillary barrier that causes increases in pressure within the fault zone, potentially inducing earthquakes even without direct diffusion.
Coupled Multiphase Flow and Geomechanical Modeling of Injection-Induced Seismicity on the Basement Fault
Chang, K. W., Yoon, H., Martinez, M. J., and P. Newell. "Coupled Multiphase Flow and Geomechanical Modeling of Injection-Induced Seismicity on the Basement Fault." Paper presented at the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, June 2018.
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