Numerical study of long-time growth of hydraulic fractures in a line drive

J. L. Mogensen*, C. F. Niordson, C. S. Andreasen, O. Jørgensen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    This work concerns detailed numerical modelling of injection fracturing in chalk formations under 2–3 km burial. The conditions and properties are chosen to resemble field conditions as typically found in oil fields subject to water injection in the Central Graben in the North Sea off-shore Denmark, Norway and the UK, but the studied phenomena are general to injection fracturing irrespective of geographical location and technological application. The complexity of reality is a challenging factor when mathematical models of hydraulic fractures in the subsurface are formulated. To this end the finite element method and a multi physics approach is instrumental, and data from fields developed and operated under conditions prudent for modelling are equally important. In the present study, a poroelastic finite element model is applied and used under plane strain conditions for a linear fracture mechanics investigation. This approach is suitable for analysing fracturing in arrays of parallel and horizontal wells as can be found in many oil fields undergoing water-flooding. Based on realistic field data, e.g. reservoir properties and rate and pressure scenarios representative for typical fields in the North Sea region, fracture initiation and fracture growth are analysed in details in a realistic field setting. Using a formulation of the J-integral, that includes Functionally Graded Material and poroelastic effects, it is demonstrated that formation fracture toughness determines fracture initiation and fracture height. The fracture propagation speed is controlled by continuity, e.g. the injection rate must balance the leak-off from the fracture wall. By combining the fields of geotechnical engineering, petroleum engineering and mechanical engineering with realistic data measurements, this study provides a novel realistic study of how the producer and injector pressure influence the fracturing process for induced hydraulic fractures in a line drive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100270
    JournalGeomechanics for Energy and the Environment
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • Fracture mechanics
    • Functionally Graded Material
    • Hydraulic fracturing
    • J-integral
    • Porous materials
    • Reservoir model


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