7. Hydraulic fracturing

This chapter reviews the initiation and growth of fluid-driven fractures, commonly known in practice as “hydraulic fractures”. The propagation of fluid-driven fractures depends on the properties of the porous medium where the fracture propagates, the properties of the injected fluid, and the in-situ stresses. Hydraulic fractures tend to open up as planes perpendicular to the minimum principal stress in order to minimize required work to open. Open-mode fluid-driven fractures happen naturally in the subsurface, may occur accidentally during wellbore drilling, and help improve reservoir connectivity to the wellbore when used for completion purposes.