Numerical Modeling of Hydrofracturing Using the Damage Theory
Hydraulic fracturing is a field technology widely used in the petroleum industry in order to increase the effective permeability of the reservoir and thus the production of gas by fracturing the rock by an injection of fluid. Hydrofracturing is often being monitored by detecting and analyzing microseismic events. We present a numerical technique that simulates the occurrence of microseismic events and their deformation modes during hydrofracturing and thus allows us to improve our understanding of hydrofracturing-related microseismicity. We can explain the time and spatial spread in the location of seismic events by the heterogeneity of the reservoir and the variability in the deformation modes as a natural process reflecting the reorganization of stresses in an elastic medium. We show that microseismic activity reflects the macroscopic description of hydrofracturing as a tensile crack even in highly heterogeneous reservoirs.
KeywordsHydraulic fracturing Microseismicity Seismic moment tensors Numerical modeling Isotropic damage theory
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