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A Lubrication‐Based Solver for Shear‐Thinning Flow in Rough Fractures

Abstract : The decreasing prospects of new oil reservoir discoveries are stimulating companies to invest in unconventional reservoir exploitation (Sheng et al., 2019) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to maximize the recovery factor of mature oilfields (Muggeridge et al., 2014). Reservoir stimulation via hydraulic fracturing is a well-established approach to increase formation permeability, which allows extending existing reserves. In unconventional reservoirs, where the pore space is poorly connected, induced stimulation permits the production of oil and gas from formations of low permeability (e.g., shale) (Curtis, 2002), reactivating natural fractures (Gale et al., 2014), and generating new ones (Cipolla et al., 2010). Induced stimulation is also utilized in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), which constitutes an innovative power system (Lu, 2018): they involve the injection of fluids in artificially fractured hot rocks to exploit an abundant renewable heat source. CO 2-based EGS (Aminu et al., 2017) or CO 2-EOR (Dowell et al., 2017) in fractured geological formations has also been proposed to offset the costs of the subsurface storage of CO 2 , which is currently considered a viable approach to reduce anthropogenic CO 2 emissions, responsible for two thirds of the increased greenhouse effects (Leung et al., 2014). These applications have led in the last 10 years to renewed scientific interest for flow in subsurface porous media, in particular, fractured porous media. In igneous rocks in particular, and more generally in low-permeability formations, fractures provide preferential pathways of high conductance with respect to the almost impervious rock matrix. The fractures are organized in connected networks (Bonnet et al., 2001), and the overall hydraulic behavior of the medium subjected to Newtonian flow is mainly governed by their connectivity (Bour & Davy, 1998) and by the distribution of fracture permeabilities throughout the network (de Dreuzy et al., 2002).
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 8:31:32 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 25, 2022 - 7:07:32 PM
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Alessandro Lenci, M. Putti, V. Di Federico, Yves Méheust. A Lubrication‐Based Solver for Shear‐Thinning Flow in Rough Fractures. Water Resources Research, 2022, 58 (8), pp.e2021WR031760. ⟨10.1029/2021WR031760⟩. ⟨insu-03760218⟩



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