An outstanding question in the design of a hydraulic fracturing treatment is how fractures, which often initiate in β€˜non-ideal' orientations under the influence of near-field stress concentrations, propagate outwards and turn towards their ideal orientations under the far-field stress conditions. The major application of this work is to predict the amount and character of near-wellbore complexity as a function of formation characteristics and the pumping fluid viscosity and flow rate. We present the results of multiple 3D hydraulic fracturing simulations to illustrate the general problem of fracture initiation from a circular wellbore. Our results are distinct from previously published results because we do not artificially constrain the growth of the hydraulic fracture. This work improves our understanding of how hydraulic fractures initiate and propagate in the near-wellbore region.

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