Prediction of breakdown pressures and fracture propagation surfaces in a rock material subjected to hydraulic fracturing using intact specimens and specimens with a replicated crack
Hydraulic fracturing is a mechanical process widely implemented by many resource industries to change the properties of rock material below the surface of the Earth. This method induces fracturing in a rock mass by injecting highly pressurised fluid into the crust. These resultant fractures can enhance the rock permeability and hence increase the efficiency of hydrocarbon extraction and geothermal energy production. Rock masses have pre-existing discontinuities, which act as weak planes for
... weak planes for hydraulic fracturing. As such, the ability to predict the fracture propagation resulting from the interaction between I thank my supervisors, Dr Nouné Sophie Melkoumian and A. Prof. Chaoshui Xu, for their belief in my work and in me. I am appreciative of the laboratory staff members that have contributed to the experiments: in particular, Adam Ryntjes and Simon Golding. This thesis is dedicated to my 'family'. I define 'family' by the people who care or have cared for me. Therefore, this includes many people. However, I have to name a few people that have helped me complete this thesis and through the difficulties of research. I thank my partner, June Sim, for her patience and love. I will always be grateful for the support from my mum, Jude Schwartzkopff. I would also like to acknowledge the strong bond that developed between my colleagues and friends. In particular, Arash Mir and Thomas Bruning, thank you for the discussions and the time we have spent together.