Modélisation de la propagation de fractures hydrauliques par la méthode des éléments finis étendue

Abstract : The permeability of rocks is widely affected by the presence of fractures as it establishes prevailing paths for the fluid flow. Natural cracks are then a critical factor for a reservoir productiveness. For low permeability rocks, stimulation techniques such as hydrofracturing have been experienced to enhance the permeability, so that the reservoir becomes profitable. In the opposite, when it comes to geological storage, the presence of cracks constitutes a major issue since it encourages the leak and migration of the material spread in the rock. In the case of CO2 storage, the scenario of leakage across the reservoir seal through cracks or revived faults is a matter of great concern. And as for nuclear waste storage, the fluid circulation in a fracture network around the storage cavity can obviously lead to the migration of toxic materials. It is then crucial to predict the effects of the presence of cracks in a reservoir. The main purpose of this work is the design of a numerical tool to simulate a crack network and its evolution under hydromechanical loading. To achieve this goal we chose the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) for its convenience, and a cohesive zone model to handle the crack tip area. The XFEM is a meshfree method that allows us to introduce cracks in the model without necessarily remeshing in case of crack propagation. The fluid flow in the crack as well as the exchanges between the porous rock and the crack are accounted for through an hydro-mechanical coupling. The model is validated with an analytical asymptotic solution for the propagation of a plane hydraulic fracture in a poroelastic media, in 2D as well as in 3D. Then we study the propagation of hydraulic fractures on non predefined paths. The cracks are initially introduced as large potential crack surfaces so that the cohesive law will naturally separate adherent and debonding zones. The potential crack surfaces are then updated based on a directional criterion appealing to cohesive integrals only. Several examples of crack reorientation and competition between nearby cracks are presented. Finally, we extend our model to account for the presence of fracture junctions
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Bertrand Paul. Modélisation de la propagation de fractures hydrauliques par la méthode des éléments finis étendue. Géotechnique. Université de Lorraine, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016LORR0182⟩. ⟨tel-01580026⟩

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