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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth Year : 2023

Single-well pore pressure preconditioning for Enhanced Geothermal System stimulation


The stress state is an important parameter in terms of both earthquake nucleation and rupture. Here, a new stimulation technique is proposed for Enhanced Geothermal Systems, which have previously been burdened with a number of high-profile incidences of induced seismicity. This stimulation technique pre-emptively alters, or preconditions, the stress state prior to injection. This preconditioning is achieved through fluid production, such that the zone of reduced pore pressure around the well results in a stress- and fracture-energy- barrier to potential nucleating and/or propagating ruptures near the point of injection. Using an existing 1-D linear slip-weakening model, it is shown how this methodology has the potential to either suppress the nucleation of dynamic events or halt their propagation. In particular, reducing the pore pressure around the region to be stimulated such that the residual shear stress rises above the in-situ value of shear stress results in ultimately stable nucleation regimes. These results hold for injection times which are small compared to the required time of production, but this methodology results in nucleation lengths, or, analogously, stimulated areas, which are orders of magnitudes larger than those safely achievable without preconditioning. An example of how this approach may be applied in the field as well as other possible methods to achieve a preconditioned reservoir are provided. Both laboratory- and meso-scale testing of preconditioning are recommended to further constrain the applicability of this methodology for the creation of Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
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Dates and versions

hal-04000019 , version 1 (22-02-2023)



Barnaby Fryer, Mathias Lebihain, Marie Violay. Single-well pore pressure preconditioning for Enhanced Geothermal System stimulation. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, 2023, 128 (3), ⟨10.1029/2022JB025443⟩. ⟨hal-04000019⟩


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