A variational hydraulic fracturing model coupled to a reservoir simulator

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A variational fracture model coupled to an external reservoir simulator through variable exchange is presented. While convergence is not optimal without Jacobian matrices with which fully coupling can provide, the presented coupling scheme is versatile enough that the reservoir simulator could be easily replaced with any other simulator. A variational approach to fracture is introduced first by comparison to the classic Griffith criteria, and is then expanded to include poro-elasticity and in-situ stresses that are required in hydraulic applications. The coupled code has been tested against existing analytical solutions of fluid-driven fracture propagation. Finally, illustrative examples are shown to demonstrate that the methodology's ability to simulate multi fracture interaction with the unified approach for turning and merging fractures.

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International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences

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