Investigative coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical modelling approach for geothermal heat extraction through multistage hydraulic fracturing from hot geothermal sedimentary systems
The meaningful utilization of artificially created multiple fractures in tight formations is associated with the performance behavior of such flow channels, especially in the case of thermal energy extraction from sedimentary geothermal system. In this study, an innovative idea is presented to develop a numerical model for geothermal energy production based on concrete physical performance of an artificially created tensile multi-fracture system in a simplified manner. The state-of-the-art software FLAC3Dplus-TOUGH2MP-TMVOC are integrated to develop a coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) fictive model for constructing a multi-fracture scheme and estimating heat extraction performance. By incorporating the actual fracture width of newly created subsequent fracture under the effect of stress shadow, cubic law is implemented for fluid flow and geothermal energy production. The results depict that fracture spacing plays a vital role in the energy contribution through multiple fractures. Afterwards, a field case study to design huge multiple hydraulic fractures was performed in the geothermal well GB X1 in North Germany. The attenuation of fracture propagation becomes more significant when massive multiple fracturing operation is performed especially in the case of lower fracture spacing. The fictive model results will be extended to study the geothermal utilization of the North German basin through massive multiple fractures in our future work.