The recent advances in micro-seismic monitoring suggest that hydraulic fracturing stimulation in unconventional reservoirs (shale-gas) has often caused complex fracture networks. The most important factor that might be responsible for the fracture complexity is the interaction between natural and hydraulic fractures. Optimization of hydraulic fracture treatments considering natural fractures requires accurately modeling the interaction and investigating fluid flow in the networks.
In this study, we present numerical results that quantify the nature of a hydraulic fracture (HF) propagating interactions with natural fractures (NFs). The numerical model is based on a simplified three dimensional displacement discontinuity method and finite difference method. The Newton-Raphson method and Picard iterative method are used to handle the coupling between rock mechanics and fluid flow. Fracture propagation and fluid invasion into pre-existing fractures are both driven by an incompressible, non-Newtonian fluid in a permeable homogenous reservoir.