Abstract

Tight gas and shale oil play an important role in energy security and meeting an increasing energy demand. Hydrualic fracturing is a widely used technology for recovering these resources. Prediction of fracture growth during slick-water injection and final geometry for single and muti-stage hydraulic allows quantitative assessment of frac-job scenarios. A recently introduced phase-field approach for pressurized fractures in a porous medium offers various attractive computational features for numerical simulations of cracks such as joining, branching, and non-planar propagation for heterogeneous porous media. In this study, we employ the phase-field fracture propagation model is used as a pre-processor in order to couple it to a fractured poroelastic reservoir simulator. This offers the possibility to simulate the entire scenario from hydraulic fracturing to the production process. The proposed algorithm is based on a one-way coupling and is therefore easy to adapt to existing legacy reservoir simulators. The phase-field model can be seen as a fracture-well-model in the reservoir simulator. The key idea behind this strategy is the possibility to couple reservoir and fracture flow in the phase-field formulation from which we obtain an initial condition for the reservoir simulator. Our proposed framework is substantiated with several numerical tests in two- and three dimensions.

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