Journal of Central South University

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 2944–2952 | Cite as

Numerical simulation of hydraulic fracture propagation in weakly consolidated sandstone reservoirs

  • Hai Lin (林海)
  • Jin-gen Deng (邓金根)Email author
  • Wei Liu (刘伟)
  • Tao Xie (谢涛)
  • Jie Xu (许杰)
  • Hai-long Liu (刘海龙)


Frac-packing technology has been introduced to improve the development effect of weakly consolidated sandstone. It has double effects on increasing production and sand control. However, determining operation parameters of frac-packing is the key factor due to the particularity of weakly consolidated sandstone. In order to study the mechanisms of hydraulic fracture propagation and reveal the effect of fracturing parameters on fracture morphology in weakly consolidated sandstone, finite element numerical model of fluid-solid coupling is established to carry out numerical simulation to analyze influences of mechanical characteristics, formation permeability, fracturing fluid injection rate and viscosity on fracture propagation. The result shows that lower elastic modulus is favorable for inducing short and wide fractures and controls the fracture length while Poisson ratio has almost no effect. Large injection rate and high viscosity of fracturing fluid are advantageous to fracture initiation and propagation. Suitable fractures are produced when the injection rate is approximate to 3–4 m3/min and fluid viscosity is over 100 mPa·s. The leak-off of fracturing fluid to formation is rising with the increase of formation permeability, which is adverse to fracture propagation. The work provides theoretical reference to determine the construction parameters for the frac-packing design in weakly consolidated reservoirs.

Key words

weakly-consolidated sandstone frac-packing hydraulic fracture fracture propagation numerical simulation 



压裂充填防砂技术有效改善了疏松砂岩油藏开发效果,具有实现增产与防砂的双重效果。由于 疏松砂岩物性及力学的特殊性,其裂缝起裂与延伸机理较为复杂。为了研究水力裂缝延伸的机制,揭 示压裂参数对疏松砂岩裂缝形态的影响,利用有限元软件建立了流固耦合有限元数值模型,重点分析 了地层渗透率、压裂液黏度及排量对于裂缝延伸规律的影响。结果表明,低弹性模量有利于诱导形成 短且宽裂缝并控制裂缝长度,而泊松比几乎不产生影响。高排量和高黏度压裂液裂缝有利于裂缝的起 裂和延伸。当注入速率为3~4 m3/min 和流体黏度超过100 mPa.s 时将形成合适的裂缝。压裂液的滤失 量随着地层渗透率的增加而上升。


疏松砂岩 压裂充填 水力压裂 裂缝扩展 数值模拟 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    FENG Sheng, SHI Zhen, WANG Yong. Application of high pressure pack sand control in Sebei gas field [J]. Special Oil & Gas Reservoirs, 2006, 13(3): 73–75. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    QU Zhan, SU Cheng, WEN Qing. Optimal design of parameters of sand control by frac-packing [J]. Special Oil & Gas Reservoirs, 2012, 19(6): 134–137. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    GRUBERT D M. Evolution of a hybrid fracture/gravel-pack completion: Monopod platform, trading bay field, cook inlet, Alaska [J]. SPE Production Engineering, 1991, 6(4): 395–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    ROODHART L P, FOKKER P A, DAVIES D R, SHLYAPOBERSKY J, WONG G K. Frac and pack stimulation: Application design and field experience from the gulf of Mexico to Borneo [C]//SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1993: 507–517.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    ZHANG Wei, YANG Zhi, WEI Ya. Advances in research of hydraulic fractures in unconsolidated sands [J]. Force and Application, 2014, 36(4): 396–402. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    WANG T T, JIANG C W, GAO Z X, LI C X. Numerical simulation of sand load applied on high-speed train in sand environment [J]. Journal of Central South University, 2017, 24(2): 442–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    KHODAVERDIAN M, MCELFRESH P. Hydraulic fracturing stimulation in poorly consolidated sand: Mechanisms and consequences [C]//SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2000: 1–13.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    CHANG H. Hydraulic fracturing in particulate materials [D]. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    DONG Y, DE PATER C J. Observation and modeling of the hydraulic fracture tip in sand [C]//The 42nd US Rock Mechanics Symposium (USRMS). California: American Rock Mechanics Association, 2008: Paper ARMA 08–377.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    GERMANOVICH L N, HURT R S, AYOUB J A. Experimental study of hydraulic fracturing in unconsolidated materials [J]. Tetrahedron Letters, 2012, 49(5): 888–892.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    GOLOVIN E, JASAREVIC H, CHUDNOVSKY A, DUDLEY J W, WONG G K. Observation and characterization of hydraulic fracture in cohesionless sand [C]//44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 5th USCanada Rock Mechanics Symposium. Utah, USA: American Rock Mechanics Association, 2010: 58–62.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    ZHOU Jia, DONG Yu, de PETER C J, ZITHA P L J. Experimental study of the impact of shear dilation and fracture behavior during polymer injection for heavy oil recovery in unconsolidated reservoirs [C]//Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference. Alberta, Canada: Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2010: 1–12.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    MANCHANDA R, OLSON J E, SHARMA M M. Permeability anisotropy and dilation due to shear failure in poorly consolidated sands [C]//SPE 152432, Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference. Woolands, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    HAIMSON B, FAIRHURST C. Initiation and extension of hydraulic fractures in rocks [J]. Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, 1967, 7(3): 310–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    JIN Yan, ZHANG Xu, CHEN Mian. Initiation pressure models for hydraulic fracturing of vertical wells in naturally fractured formation [J]. Acta Petrolei Sinica, 2005, 26(6): 113–114.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    REN Lan, ZHAO Jin, HU Yong. Numerical calculation of rock breakdown pressure during hydraulic fracturing process [J]. Rock Mechanics and Engineering, 2009, 28 (s2): 3417–3422. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    CARRIER B, GRANET S. Numerical modeling of hydraulic fracture problem in permeable medium using cohesive zone model [J]. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 2012, 79: 312–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    LAI X D, AN F C, WANG Y H, ZHU H Y, JIN X C. Coupled flow, stress and damage modelling of interactions between hydraulic fractures and natural fractures in shale gas reservoirs [J]. International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2016, 13(4): 359–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    ZHANG F, ZHU H, ZHOU H, GUO J, HUANG B. Discreteelement-method/computational-fluid-dynamics coupling simulation of proppant embedment and fracture conductivity after hydraulic fracturing [J]. Spe Journal, 2017, 22(2): 632–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    ZHANG G M, LIU H, ZHANG J, WU HA, WANG X X. Three-dimensional finite element simulation and parametric study for horizontal well hydraulic fracture [J]. Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 2010, 72(3): 310–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    CHEN Z, BUNGER A P, ZHANG X. Cohesive zone finite element-based modeling of hydraulic fractures [J]. Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica, 2009, 22(5): 443–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    DO B C, LIU W, YANG Q D, SU X Y. Improved cohesive stress integration schemes for cohesive zone elements [J]. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 2013, 107(7): 14–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    ZHU H Y, ZHAO X, GUO J C, JIN X, AN F. Coupled flowstress-damage simulation of deviated-wellbore fracturing in hard-rock [J]. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2015, 26: 711–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    GUO J, ZHAO X, ZHU H, ZHANG X, PAN R. Numerical simulation of interaction of hydraulic fracture and natural fracture based on the cohesive zone finite element method [J]. Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering, 2015, 25: 180–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectingChina University of PetroleumBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory Offshore Oil Exploitation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation China LimitedTianjin BranchTianjinChina

Personalised recommendations