The Impact of Multistage Fracturing on the Production Performance of the Horizontal Wells in Shale Formations
- Kimberly L. Ayers (West Virginia University) | Kashy Aminian (West Virginia University) | Samuel Ameri (West Virginia University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, 3-5 October, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 2.5.4 Multistage Fracturing, 2 Well Completion, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.5.8 History Matching, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow
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The interest in exploitation of ultra-low permeability formations, such as the Marcellus Shale, has increased in the recent years. Shale formations require massive stimulation treatments to achieve economic production. The recent advances in horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing have proved successful in achieving commercial production. However, the parameters that directly affect lifetime production of the wells have not been well established.
The primary objective of this study is to examine the effects of basic stimulation parameters used in hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale wells on production performance. Historical production data and stimulation treatment information have been collected and analyzed for a number of horizontal wells both in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A commercial reservoir simulator which utilizes a dual porosity model and accounts for adsorbed gas was utilized for history matching and predicting the long term production performance. The impact of the stimulation parameters including number of stages, stage spacing, the volume of water used, and the volume of sand used on production performance was investigated. An understanding of the impact of each stimulation parameter to overall production of a well can be used for the optimization of stimulation treatments.
The Marcellus Shale is a significant source of natural gas located in the Appalachian Basin. This black organic shale is prolific in size—underlying sections of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York. Current studies estimate that 487 trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves are present in the Marcellus Shale (Engelder, 2009). This large quantity of natural gas is located very strategically in regards to geography, and has the potential to become an invaluable source of energy for industrial processes in the Northeastern areas, Eastern Seaboard, and Great Lakes region of the United States. Located 4,500 feet to 8,500 feet underground, the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is accessed and produced most efficiently by using innovative horizontal drilling practices in combination with massive hydraulic fracturing stimulation treatments. These technologies allow enormous amounts of gas to be released from each individual well. Horizontal drilling makes it possible to contact and produce large portions of the reservoir from one surface location. As of June 2011, over 3,000 Marcellus Shale wells have reportedly been drilled, as recorded by the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection. Thousands more have been permitted to be drilled in the future. With this background of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this study will seek to more clearly understand the relationship of certain specific hydraulic fracturing parameters to the overall lifetime productivity of horizontal Marcellus Shale wells.
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