Discrete Fracture Model for Hydro-Mechanical Coupling in Fractured Reservoirs

Xupeng He, Tian Qiao, Marwa Alsinan, Hyung Kwak, Hussein Hoteit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The process of coupled flow and mechanics occurs in various environmental and energy applications, including conventional and unconventional fractured reservoirs. This work establishes a new formulation for modeling hydro-mechanical coupling in fractured reservoirs. The discrete-fracture model (DFM), in which the porous matrix and fractures are represented explicitly in the form of unstructured grid, has been widely used to describe fluid flow in fractured formations. In this work, we extend the DFM approach for modeling coupled flow-mechanics process, in which flow problems are solved using the multipoint flux approximation (MPFA) method, and mechanics problems are solved using the multipoint stress approximation (MPSA) method. The coupled flow-mechanics problems share the same computational grid to avoid projection issues and allow for convenient exchange between them. We model the fracture mechanical behavior as a two-surface contact problem. The resulting coupled system of nonlinear equations is solved in a fully-implicit manner. The accuracy and generality of the numerical implementation are accessed using cases with analytical solutions, which shows an excellent match. We then apply the methodology to more complex cases to demonstrate its general applicability. We also investigate the geomechanical influence on fracture permeability change using 2D rock fractures. This work introduces a novel formulation for modeling the coupled flow-mechanics process in fractured reservoirs, and can be readily implemented in reservoir characterization workflow.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDay 4 Thu, November 18, 2021
StatePublished - Dec 9 2021


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