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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Discrete Fracture Modeling Approach for Analysis of Coalbed Methane and Water Flow in a Fractured Coal Reservoir

  • Author(s): Ma, T;
  • Xu, H;
  • Guo, C;
  • Fu, X;
  • Liu, W;
  • Yang, R
  • et al.

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As a complex two-phase flow in naturally fractured coal formations, the prediction and analysis of CBM production remain challenging. This study presents a discrete fracture approach to modeling coalbed methane (CBM) and water flow in fractured coal reservoirs, particularly the influence of fracture orientation, fracture density, gravity, and fracture skeleton on fluid transport. The discrete fracture model is first verified by two water-flooding cases with multi- A nd single-fracture configurations. The verified model is then used to simulate CBM production from a discrete fractured reservoir using four different fracture patterns. The results indicate that fluid behavior is significantly affected by orientation, density, and fracture connectivity. Finally, several cases are performed to investigate the influence of gravity and fracture skeleton. The simulation results show that gas migrates upwards to the top reservoir during fluid extraction owing to buoyancy and the connected fracture skeleton plays a dominant role in fluid transport and methane production efficiency. Overall, the developed discrete fracture model provides a powerful tool to study two-phase flow in fractured coal reservoirs.

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