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Investigating Mechanical Interactions Between Fractures and Fracture Propagation Patterns in an EGS Reservoir (2016-2021)

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Investigator(s): Ayaka Abe

Understanding how a reservoir is stimulated by hydraulic stimulation is necessary for characterizing a reservoir, deciding stimulation design, and optimizing production. In a reservoir where matrix permeability is very low, reservoir permeability enhancement by hydraulic stimulation occurs mainly by creating new fractures, shear dilation of preexisting natural fractures, and fracture connectivity enhancement. In this way, we can access larger volume of reservoir by creating a fracture network that connects wells and the reservoir.

In this work, we developed a physics-based numerical model that couples fracture deformation, propagation,  and fluid flow between fracture surfaces.  We investigated the stimulation mechanism in an EGS reservoir with numerical and laboratory experimental approach and applied to analyze small scale to field scale experiments. 

References: 

Abe A, Horne RN. Investigating stress shadowing effects and fracture propagation patterns: Implications for enhanced geothermal reservoirs. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 2021;142:104761

Abe A, Kim TW, Horne RN. Laboratory hydraulic stimulation experiments to investigate the interaction between newly formed and preexisting fractures. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 2021;141:104665

Abe A, Horne RN. Investigating the effect of wing cracks on the EGS reservoir permeability enhancement by hydraulic stimulation. Proceedings of the ARMA-CUPB Geothermal International Conference. Beijing. August 2019:5-8

Abe A, Horne RN. Investigating mechanical interactions between fractures and fracture propagation patterns in an EGS reservoir. In: Proceedings of the 45th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering. February 2020:10-12. Stanford, California.

Abe A, Ishibashi T, Asanuma H, Horne RN. Numerical modeling and laboratory experiments on a propagating hydraulic fracture intersecting with a preexisting fracture. In: Proceedings of the 44th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering. February 2019:11-13. Stanford, California.