This paper presents fracture simulations of multiple, interacting, non-planar fractures in three dimensions. The paper provides a short description of the mathematical formulation of the model but the primary focus is on fracture propagation examples and illustrations of how multiple hydraulic fractures interact in three dimensions. The examples which are presented are intended to provide insight into how the number of growing fractures affects fracture shapes, how changes in fluid viscosity can cause fractures to grow together or grow apart, and how limited-entry at the perforations affects the propagation of interacting fractures. The fracture simulator discussed in this paper models the simultaneous growth of non-planar hydraulic fractures in a three-dimensional linear elastic media, and it can also incorporate stress shadows from hydraulic fractures created during earlier fracture stages. The program uses a symmetric Galerkin boundary element method to model fracture shapes and fracture growth, while flow in the fractures is modeled as power-law fluid flow in arbitrary curved channels. The program uses an effective mode-I stress intensity factor to determine which portions of each fracture will propagate and employs mixed-mode stress intensity factors, KI and KII, to determine propagation directions.

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