ARMA-CUPB Geothermal International Conference,
2019. American Rock Mechanics Association
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ABSTRACT: Hydraulic fracturing is widely used in shale gas and geothermal energy development. To understand the behaviors of crack propagation in three-dimensional (3D) simulation, the hydraulic fracturing calculation of 3D orthogonal cracks is carried out by the block discrete element technique. The effects of stress conditions and injection rate on the crack initiation and propagation were analyzed. The results show that in the 3D simulation, the fluid-driven crack is contained by the horizontal joints and then spreads laterally when it reaches the intersection of the horizontal joint and the vertical joint. The fracture tip blunting at the joint surface is one of the main reason for crack containment. Under different stress states, the cracks at the intersection of joints may cross the horizontal joint or be arrested by horizontal joints. As the injection rate increases, the time for crack initiation is shorter. The key controlling factor for crack initiation is the total volume of liquid injection. The total volume of liquid injection is controlled by the injection rate and injection time. At a lower injection speed, increasing the injection rate can effectively shorten the crack initiation time. The results provide guiding significance for hydraulic fracturing process of shale or dry hot rock.
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