Hydraulic fracturing of a naturally fractured reservoir is a challenge for petroleum industry, as fractures can have complex growth patterns when propagating in systems of natural fractures that leads to significant diversion of hydraulic fracture paths due to intersection with natural fractures which causes difficulties in proppant transport. In this study, an eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) model has been developed to account for hydraulic fracture propagation and interaction with natural fracture in naturally fractured reservoirs including fractures intersection criteria into the model. It is assumed that fractures are propagating in an elastic medium under plane strain and quasi-static conditions. The results indicate that hydraulic fracture diversion before and after intersecting with natural fracture is strongly controlled by the in-situ horizontal differential stress and the orientation of the natural fractures as well as hydraulic fracture net pressure. It is observed that hydraulic fracture net pressure increase leads to decreasing induced fracture diversion and in-situ horizontal differential stress decrease results in increasing induced fracture diversion before intersecting with natural fracture. In addition, potential debonding of sealed natural fracture in the near-tip region of a propagating hydraulic fracture before fractures intersection has been modeled which is one of the phenomena that has been rarely taken into account, as debonding of natural fracture before fractures intersection is of great importance that may lead to diverting the induced fracture into double-deflection in natural fracture and can explain hydraulic fracture behaviors due to interaction with natural fracture at different conditions. Also, it’s been observed that at low angles of approach with low to high differential stress, the induced hydraulic fracture opens the natural fracture while at high to medium angles of approach, natural fracture opening and crossing both are observed depending on the differential stress. Comparison of the numerical and experimental studies results has shown good agreement.

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