Fracture closure modes during flowback from hydraulic fractures

Arash Dahi Taleghani, Yuzhe Cai, Amade Pouya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Flowback analysis recently has been considered as a potential tool for assessing induced fractures through corresponding pressure analyses and rate transient analysis. In this paper, we study fracture closure mechanisms during the flowback of fracturing fluid after hydraulic fracturing treatments. Although it is known that flowback can be significantly affected by the geometry of the fractures and closure stress, there has not been any effort to understand the problem from the geomechanical point of view; rather, available studies assume that a fracture closes uniformly with constant fracture compressibility. The coupled geomechanics and fluid flow model presented in this paper help to elucidate how geostresses may affect fracturing fluid recovery under different conditions. We perform a scaling analysis to formulate the occurrence of different fracture closure modes and then use numerical analyses to verify our scaling parameters. The factors governing the flowback process include the mechanical and petrophysical properties of the rock as well as preexisting discontinuities such as natural fractures. Three different closure modes for fracture networks are described and numerically verified. The occurrence of each mode can dramatically affect fracturing fluid recovery. The role of fluid leakoff into the formation, fractures conductivity, and drawdown strategy are examined for each fracture closure scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1704
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 25 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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