Numerical analysis of fracture propagation during hydraulic fracturing operations in shale gas systems Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Ltd. We perform numerical studies on vertical fracture propagation induced by tensile hydraulic fracturing for shale gas reservoirs. From the numerical simulation, we find that tensile fracturing occurs discontinuously in time, which generates saw-toothed responses of pressure, the fracture aperture, and displacement, and that fracture propagation is sensitive to factors such as initial condition of saturation, a type of the injection fluid, heterogeneity, tensile strength, elastic moduli, and permeability models. Gas injection induces faster fracturing in shale gas reservoirs than water injection, for the same mass injection, because of high mobility of gas. However, water injection to highly water-saturated formations can contribute to fast pressurization and high mobility of water, resulting in large fracturing. For moderate initial water saturation, complex physical responses within the fracture result from strong nonlinear permeability and multiphase flow with gravity. Pressure diffusion and pressurization within the fracture are also affected by permeability. High intrinsic and high relative permeabilities result in fast fluid movement of injected fluid, followed by fast fracturing. High Young[U+05F3]s modulus and high Poisson[U+05F3]s ratio do not seem favorable to fracture propagation, although they are not significantly sensitive. For heterogeneity, a geological layer of high strength between near surface and above the shale gas reservoirs can prevent vertical fracture propagation, changing the direction of fracturing horizontally.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 9

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., & Moridis, G. J.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Jihoon||Moridis, George J

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM