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.
3-D Finite-Discrete Element Simulation of a Triaxial Direct-Shear Experiment
Euser, B., Lei, Z., Rougier, E., Knight, E. E., Frash, L., Carey, J. W., Viswanathan, H., and A. Munjiza. "3-D Finite-Discrete Element Simulation of a Triaxial Direct-Shear Experiment." Paper presented at the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, June 2018.
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