Some ongoing projects about hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs are as follows:

1. Coal based low-carbon science and technology major project supported by Shanxi, China in 2016 (No. MQ2016-01)

  • Studying propagation law of hydraulic fractures in broken and low-permeability coal seam by numerical simulation method.
  • Studying how to select the position and length of fracturing segments for coalbed methane horizontal well to gain a satisfactory fracturing effect.
  • Providing technical guidance and support to horizontal well staged fracturing in low-permeability coalbed methane reservoir.

Effect of intersection angle with natural fracture on propagation of hydraulic fracture.

2. Coalbed methane joint research fund supported by Shanxi, China in 2016 (No. 2016012014)

  • Studying the mechanical properties and failure law of Shanxi soft coals under various testing conditions, e.g. different gas/water contents, different load values and different loading rates, using the mechanical performance test platform.
  • Studying the propagation mechanism of hydraulic fractures in soft coal seam which is split by a lot of interlaced natural fractures, basing on physical simulation of hydraulic fracturing.
  • Building the numerical model of hydraulic fracturing simulation considering various factors such as dynamic filtration of fracturing fluid, proppant transport, heat transfer between fluid and coalbed, mechanical interaction between hydraulic fractures and natural weak surfaces, coupling of deformation field, flow field and temperature field.
  • Providing scientific guidance for optimizing fracturing techniques and operation parameters of soft coal seams.

Mechanical interaction between hydraulic fracture (in red) and natural fracture network (in yellow) under various horizontal stress differences.