Modelling of fractured horizontal wells with complex fracture network in natural gas hydrate reservoirs

Cong Xiao*, Leng Tian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Shale gas resources (SGR), as a representative of natural gas hydrate reservoirs, have been the main energy supply for the energy consumption currently. The multi-scale pore structure of shale, complicated seepage mechanisms, including Knudsen diffusion, matrix deformation, stress sensitivity, non-Darcy flow and spatial fracture network stimulated by hydraulic fracturing technology have posed huge challenges to an accurate prediction and assessment of shale gas recovery. A full understanding of gas seepage mechanism of shale gas is the critical and scientific issue to develop carbon hydrogen energy resources effectively. It is very urgent to establish a comprehensive mathematical model to analyze the productivity capacity through simultaneously considering various flow mechanisms and fractures network system. To fill this gap, this paper presents a comprehensive numerical model of hydraulic fracturing horizontal well with discrete fracture network where embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) is employed to characterize the coupled phenomenon between discrete fracture network and fractured SGR. And then two numerical discretization methods, e.g., finite difference and finite-volume, are used to numerically discretize the equations, subsequently, the Newton-Raphson iterative method is adopted to obtain the final solutions. Finally, the sensitivity analysis experiments are employed to investigate the effects of the key parameters. The results can provide some certain guidance for the optimization of stimulated treatment in natural gas hydrate reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14266-14280
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020


  • Fracture network
  • Fractured horizontal well
  • Natural gas hydrate resource
  • Numerical modelling
  • Sensitivity analysis


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