Water injection into a low-permeability rock - 1: Hydrofracture growth

Tadeusz Patzek*, D. B. Silin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In this paper, we model water injection through a growing vertical hydrofracture penetrating a low-permeability reservoir. The results are useful in oilfield waterflood applications and in liquid waste disposal through reinjection. Using Duhamel's principle, we extend the Gordeyev and Entov (1997) self-similar 2D solution of pressure diffusion from a growing fracture to the case of variable injection pressure. The flow of water injected into a low-permeability rock is almost perpendicular to the fracture for a time sufficiently long to be of practical interest. We revisit Carter's model of 1D fluid injection (Howard and Fast, 1957) and extend it to the case of variable injection pressure. We express the cumulative injection through the injection pressure and effective fracture area. Maintaining fluid injection above a reasonable minimal value inevitably to fracture growth regardless of the injector design and the injection policy. The average rate of fracture growth can be predicted from early injection. A smart injection controller that can prevent rapid fracture growth is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-555
Number of pages19
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001


  • Generalized carter model
  • Hydrofracture growth
  • Optimal control
  • Self-similar solution
  • Transient flow
  • Waterflood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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