The evolution of hydraulic fracturing has enabled development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources that previously would not have been economical. The volume of water required for these operations is a major concern. Industry is actively seeking methods to reduce water usage and increase the amount of gas recovered per unit of water used to stimulate the formation. There is substantial evidence that the rate and method of flowback of the fracturing fluid has a significant impact on the amount of water recovered and well productivity.
The objective of this project was to develop a multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and an accompanying reduced order model (ROM) tool to predict flowback of the fracturing fluid from a well over time. The ROM tool is designed to use a database of CFD solutions to provide quick estimates of the flowback rate and the potential impact on future gas production.