Modeling propellant-based stimulation of a borehole with peridynamics

R Panchadhara and PA Gordon and ML Parks, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ROCK MECHANICS AND MINING SCIENCES, 93, 330-343 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2017.02.006

A non-local formulation of classical continuum mechanics theory known as peridynamics is used to study fracture initiation and growth from a wellbore penetrating the subsurface within the context of propellant- based stimulation. The principal objectives of this work are to analyze the influence of loading conditions on the resulting fracture pattern, to investigate the effect of in-situ stress anisotropy on fracture propagation, and to assess the suitability of peridynamics for modeling complex fracture formation. It is shown that the loading rate significantly influences the number and extent of fractures initiated from a borehole. Results show that low loading rates produce fewer but longer fractures, whereas high loading rates produce numerous shorter fractures around the borehole. The numerical method is able to predict fracture growth patterns over a wide range of loading and stress conditions. Our results also show that fracture growth is attenuated with increasing in-situ confining stress, and, in the case of confining stress anisotropy, fracture extensions are largest in the direction perpendicular to the minimum compressive stress. Since the results are in broad qualitative agreement with experimental and numerical studies found in the literature, suggesting that peridynamics can be a powerful tool in the study of complex fracture network formation.

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