In this talk delivered for ARMA HFC ‘Warm-Up’ webinar series, I outline my latest work at ResFrac, which raises the bar in hydraulic fracture modeling by creating a continuous fracture front tracking algorithm with multi-layer tip elements (MuLTipEl). The primary purpose of this effort is to address the long-standing problem of mesh dependence of hydraulic fracture growth and to be able to obtain accurate results even using a relatively coarse mesh.
To prove the concept, the problem of a plane strain hydraulic fracture propagating in a layered formation is addressed first. The numerical algorithm for this problem is based on a fixed-mesh approach and uses elements that can be larger than the layer size. Several numerical examples of benchmarking the numerical solution, as well as highlighting capabilities of the algorithm in tackling multiple thin layers accurately are presented. Finally, I discuss implementation into ResFrac and show several examples for more complex fracture geometries.
For a copy of the arXiv.org published paper on the same subject, click here.