Multi-Size Proppant Pumping Schedule of Hydraulic Fracturing: Application to a MP-PIC Model of Unconventional Reservoir for Enhanced Gas Production Academic Article uri icon


  • Slickwater hydraulic fracturing is becoming a prevalent approach to economically recovering shale hydrocarbon. It is very important to understand the proppants transport behavior during slickwater hydraulic fracturing treatment for effective creation of a desired propped fracture geometry. The currently available models are either oversimplified or have been performed at limited length scales to avoid high computational requirements. Another limitation is that the currently available hydraulic fracturing simulators are developed using only single-sized proppant particles. Motivated by this, in this work, a computationally efficient, three-dimensional, multiphase particle-in-cell (MP-PIC) model was employed to simulate the multi-size proppant transport in a field-scale geometry using the EulerianLagrangian framework. Instead of tracking each particle, groups of particles (called parcels) are tracked, which allows one to simulate the proppant transport in field-scale geometries at an affordable computational cost. Then, we found from our sensitivity study that pumping schedules significantly affect propped fracture surface area and average fracture conductivity, thereby influencing shale gas production. Motivated by these results, we propose an optimization framework using the MP-PIC model to design the multi-size proppant pumping schedule that maximizes shale gas production from unconventional reservoirs for given fracturing resources.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Siddhamshetty, P., Mao, S., Wu, K., & Kwon, J.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Siddhamshetty, Prashanth||Mao, Shaowen||Wu, Kan||Kwon, Joseph Sang-Il

publication date

  • May 2020