Abstract This paper presents a novel approach to numerical simulations of hydraulic fractures in dynamic reservoir simulations. The fluid flow in fractures is modeled through a network of virtual perforations created in the model grid blocks intersected by the expected fracture trajectory and directly connected to the fractured well. It is demonstrated that by adjusting the productivity indexes of fracture virtual perforations on each time step, practically any static and dynamic behavior of the fracture and its proppant can be realistically modeled. The crossflow between real and virtual perforations is managed by solving a joint well equation. The algorithm takes into account effects of fracture permeability degradation due to pressure, proppant destruction, or total accumulated liquid flux. When the fracture half-length is greater than the average grid block size, the approach described in this paper provides much more realistic simulations than the conventional skin-factor approach or manual generation of high permeability channels. One of the most important advantages of the proposed method is that it can be robustly used for large full-field models with hundreds of horizontal or vertical wells with large scale hydraulic fracturing.
Introduction With the rapid expansion of hydrocarbon production in various shale formations around the world1 it becomes essential to be able to reproduce the observed short and long-term production rates in dynamic reservoir simulations. In order to do so, there is a list of new physical phenomena which have to be understood and included in the shale reservoir description. There have been many analytical approaches to shale reservoir production estimation, which proved to be reasonably accurate for different cases2,3,4. However, reservoir simulation should be applied in order to get reliable production forecasts in general. Some reservoir effects are related to "micro level?? dynamics and include non-Darcy effects, local micro fracture networks , gas re-absorption, and potentially many other subtle physical processes.
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