Hydraulic fracturing is a proven method for extracting oil and gas from low-permeability rock formations. However, many aspects related to hydraulic fracture processes, such as fracture permeability, still lack sufficient characterization. To better understand the fundamental processes of hydrocarbon production, a study of fracture initiation and propagation in shale rock is conducted using the combined Finite-Discrete Element Method (FDEM). The simulations qualitatively match fracture patterns observed in triaxial direct-shear core flood experiments, and successfully replicate experimental measures of peak stress as a function of confining pressure.

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