Intensive Flow and transport modelling in fractured porous media : state of the art and actual challenges


Benoit Noetinger, IFPEN, France
Inga Berre, University of Bergen, Norway
Mohammad Karimi-Fard, Energy Resources Engineering Department, Stanford, US
Stefano Berrone, Politecnico di Torino, Italy


In recent years, flow and transport in fractured porous media received strong attention from the modeling community due to its importance for, among others, non-conventional hydrocarbon recovery, geothermal applications, and nuclear waste disposal issues.

Improvements in gridding techniques, as well as the developments of specific numerical schemes allow direct flow simulations in large Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) including several thousands of fractures. The exchanges with the matrix can also be accounted for by a set of methods, including explicit meshing of the matrix, MINC, and MRTM methods. In the case of flow in tight media, coupling with geomechanics is considered.

It remains that the distribution and properties of the fractures is a major source of uncertainty that can dominate the overall uncertainty of the problem. Consequently the DFN characterization becomes very important and can be considerably improved by geomechanical considerations.

The session will focus on up to date flow modeling in DFN, setting up a benchmark case will be discussed. Issues such as the coupling with the matrix, coupling of geo- thermo- and hydromechanical processes and relation with more conventional up-scaled models will also be discussed.

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