The impact of oriented perforations on fracture propagation and complexity in hydraulic fracturing

Liyuan Liu, Lianchong Li, Derek Elsworth, Sheng Zhi, Yongjun Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


To better understand the interaction between hydraulic fracture and oriented perforation, a fully coupled finite element method (FEM)-based hydraulic-geomechanical fracture model accommodating gas sorption and damage has been developed. Damage conforms to a maximum stress criterion in tension and to Mohr-Coulomb limits in shear with heterogeneity represented by a Weibull distribution. Fracturing fluid flow, rock deformation and damage, and fracture propagation are collectively represented to study the complexity of hydraulic fracture initiation with perforations present in the near-wellbore region. The model is rigorously validated against experimental observations replicating failure stresses and styles during uniaxial compression and then hydraulic fracturing. The influences of perforation angle, in situ stress state, initial pore pressure, and properties of the fracturing fluid are fully explored. The numerical results show good agreement with experimental observations and the main features of the hydraulic fracturing process in heterogeneous rock are successfully captured. A larger perforation azimuth (angle) from the direction of the maximum principal stress induces a relatively larger curvature of the fracture during hydraulic fracture reorientation. Hydraulic fractures do not always initiate at the oriented perforations and the fractures induced in hydraulic fracturing are not always even and regular. Hydraulic fractures would initiate both around the wellbore and the oriented perforations when the perforation angle is > 75°. For the liquid-based hydraulic fracturing, the critical perforation angle increases from 70° to 80°, with an increase in liquid viscosity from 10-3 Pa·s to 1 Pa·s. While for the gas fracturing, the critical perforation angle remains 62° to 63°. This study is of great significance in further understanding the near-wellbore impacts on hydraulic fracture propagation and complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number213
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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