MODELING HYDRAULIC FRACTURE INITIATION OF A NOTCH-FREE WELLBORE IN ANISOTROPIC ROCKS
Mahsa SakhaDogwood B
In this study, we address hydraulic fracture initiation from a notch-free wellbore subjected to compressive in-situ stresses, where the wellbore is situated in an anisotropic host rock with transversely isotropic properties. To capture the three unknown parameters, i.e. the initial crack length, orientation, and the fluid pressure at initiation in anisotropic formations, we extend the mixed criterion proposed for isotropic rock formations in the literature. The mixed criterion requires that both stress and energy conditions at the initiation point are met. To do so, we calculate the fracture energy through the displacement discontinuity method (DDM), where the kernel matrix appropriate to the geometry of the problem (i.e. an infinite plane with a circular hole) is adopted for a transversely isotropic formation. To evaluate the reliability of our formulation at any degree of material anisotropy, the crack emanating from the wellbore is simulated by the finite element method, and consequently the energy dissipated between the cracked and crack-free states is measured. While the two methods are in agreement, the results unravel the systematics of how the competition between the material anisotropy and the differential in-situ stresses determines the initiation parameters.