Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6373957, 12 pages
Research Article

Deformation Behavior between Hydraulic and Natural Fractures Using Fully Coupled Hydromechanical Model with XFEM

1Engineering Technology Research Institute of Southwest Oil & Gas Field Company, PetroChina, Chengdu 610017, China
2State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Fei Liu

Received 12 March 2017; Revised 20 April 2017; Accepted 7 May 2017; Published 7 June 2017

Academic Editor: Eric Feulvarch

Copyright © 2017 Fei Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There has been a growing consensus that preexisting natural fractures play an important role during stimulation. A novel fully coupled hydromechanical model using extended finite element method is proposed. This directly coupled scheme avoids the cumbersome process during calculating the fluid pressure in complicated fracture networks and translating into an equivalent nodal force. Numerical examples are presented to simulate the hydraulic fracture propagation paths for simultaneous multifracture treatments with properly using the stress shadow effects for horizontal wells and to reveal the deformation response and interaction mechanism between hydraulic induced fracture and nonintersected natural fractures at orthotropic and nonorthotropic angles. With the stress shadow effects, the induced hydraulic flexural fracture deflecting to wellbore rather than transverse fracture would be formed during the progress of simultaneous fracturing for a horizontal well. The coupled hydromechanical simulation reveals that the adjacent section to the intersection is opened and the others are closed for orthogonal natural fracture, while the nonorthogonal natural fracture is activated near the intersection firstly and along the whole section with increasing perturbed stresses. The results imply that the induced hydraulic fracture tends to cross orthotropic natural fracture, while it is prior to being arrested by the nonorthotropic natural fracture.