214 High Performance Numerical Simulations of Hydraulic Fracture

Brice Lecampion, EPFL, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
Lorenzo Benedetti, EPFL, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
Randy Settgast, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Joseph Morris, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Hamid Pourpak, TOTAL Exploration & Production
The study of hydraulic fracturing is pivotal in the field of geothermal energy, stimulation of unconventional reservoirs and natural faulting processes. This technique is commonly used to enhance the production of hydrocarbons from very tight formation (e.g. shale gas, shale oil). The propagation of a hydraulic fracture in the subsurface is a very challenging problem, given the complex nonlinear interactions between the rock matrix and the injected fluid [1, 2, 3].
A number of semi-analytical solutions for simple fracture geometries [1] as well as laboratory experiments provide crucial benchmarks that any numerical simulator must pass for such a nonlinear moving boundary problem. This is especially important as numerical simulations play a key role in the study and the design of HF treatments since they allow to tackle - without hindrance - a large variety of geological settings, boundary conditions or geometries [3]. Despite this significant flexibility, accuracy and cost-effectiveness are still the decisive factors for the adoption of a computational tool. High fidelity numerical analyses of hydraulic fracturing are particularly time consuming (even for massively parallelized software) due to the large coupled nonlinear phenomena to be modelled. In addition, HF is a multi-scale problem and, if an upscaling strategy is not implemented, the minimum feature size (of the reservoir) that can be modelled is severely limited. Notwithstanding these issues, engineers rely on the possibility of calculating solutions quickly in order to analyse a large number of field scenarios so that they can obtain practical design answers.
The objective of this mini-symposium is to explore the recent advancements in the numerical analysis of hydraulic fracturing, with particular focus on high performance simulations, both from an accuracy and computational cost standpoint. The authors are invited to submit their contribution on the following topics:
1. novel solution strategies for solid-fluid coupling, fracture propagation and fluid flow in newly created fracture networks;
2. innovative numerical methods, e.g. XFEM, hybrid Finite Elements and Boundary Elements;
3. multiscale simulations, including micro-macro upscaling models;
4. acceleration techniques such as massive parallelization, domain decomposition and model order reduction, including pseudo 3D models.
5. comparisons between experiments and numerical predictions

[1] E. Detournay, Mechanics of Hydraulic Fractures, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 48, 2016, Pages 311-339
[2] Garagash D.I. (2009) Scaling of Physical Processes in Fluid-Driven Fracture: Perspective from the Tip. In: Borodich F. (eds) IUTAM Symposium on Scaling in Solid Mechanics. Iutam Bookseries, vol 10. Springer, Dordrecht
[3] J. Adachi, E. Siebrits, A. Peirce, J. Desroches, Computer simulation of hydraulic fractures, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, Volume 44, Issue 5, 2007, Pages 739-757