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Computational Modeling of Fluid Flow through A Fractured Media under Overburden Pressures

Alberto Roman, Goodarz Ahmadi

Abstract


Computational analyses were conducted to investigate fluid flow characteristics of a real fractured media. Finite element (FE) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses were implemented to carry out these computational analyses. The fractured media was exposed to external pressurization to predict permeability and asperity deformation. Furthermore, a series of CFD-FE analyses were also conducted to determine the reduction in permeability of the fractured media under the external pressure. An elastic-plastic model was embedded into the FE analyses to model the permeability hysteresis of the experimental data. A Newtonian viscous incompressible flow model was also implemented to quantify the effect of the flow properties. It was shown that the simulated permeability results captured the trend of the experiments; however, quantitative discrepancies were found. Finally, simulation results for the case of high pore pressures that may find application to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) were also reported.

 

Keywords: Fracture permeability, confining pressure, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics analysis, permeability hysteresis

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