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A new estimation of equivalent matrix block sizes in fractured media with two-phase flow applications in dual porosity models

Abstract : Single and multiphase flows in fractured porous media at the scale of natural reservoirs are often handled by resorting to homogenized models that avoid the heavy computations associated with a complete discretization of both fractures and matrix blocks. For example, the two overlapping continua (fractures and matrix) of a dual porosity system are coupled by way of fluid flux exchanges that deeply condition flow at the large scale. This characteristic is a key to realistic flow simulations, especially for multiphase flow as capillary forces and contrasts of fluid mobility compete in the extraction of a fluid from a capacitive matrix then conveyed through the fractures. The exchange rate between fractures and matrix is conditioned by the so-called mean matrix block size which can be viewed as the size of a single matrix block neighboring a single fracture within a mesh of a dual porosity model.

We propose a new evaluation of this matrix block size based on the analysis of discrete fracture networks. The fundaments rely upon establishing at the scale of a fractured block the equivalence between the actual fracture network and a Warren and Root network only made of three regularly spaced fracture families parallel to the facets of the fractured block. The resulting matrix block sizes are then compared via geometrical considerations and two-phase flow simulations to the few other available methods. It is shown that the new method is stable in the sense it provides accurate sizes irrespective of the type of fracture network investigated. The method also results in two-phase flow simulations from dual porosity models very close to that from references calculated in finely discretized networks. Finally, calculations of matrix block sizes by this new technique reveal very rapid, which opens the way to cumbersome applications such as preconditioning a dual porosity approach applied to regional fractured reservoirs.

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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03707907
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 5:36:41 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 21, 2022 - 10:48:26 AM

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Chahir Jerbi, André Fourno, Benoit Noetinger, Frederick Delay. A new estimation of equivalent matrix block sizes in fractured media with two-phase flow applications in dual porosity models. Journal of Hydrology, 2017, 548, pp.508-523. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.03.028⟩. ⟨insu-03707907⟩

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