The growing demand for gas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the availability of multistage fracturing (MSF) of horizontal well technology have opened up the development of tight gas reservoirs throughout the country. Draining the reservoir efficiently using MSF strongly depends on well spacing, especially for low permeability reservoirs. The majority of the work done by the industry to find the optimum well spacing was based on economic considerations. Saudi Aramco optimizes field development based on sustained rate and ultimate hydrocarbon recovery. Natural gas is treated as one of the most essential commodities supporting the country’s infrastructure based on the increased domestic energy demand.
Some of the significant parameters to consider for well spacing optimization are the drilling azimuth and well completion strategy that include a number of induced fractures, fracture conductivity, and fracture half-lengths. In addition, reservoir properties, such as formation thickness, reservoir permeability, and the permeability anisotropy ratio are to be considered. Due to the scarcity of interference test data in gas wells and the inaccuracy of analytical solutions, numeric simulation is the most suitable approach for such a study. To find the optimum well spacing, several simulation runs are carried out for a realistic range of well and reservoir variables. The outcomes are then translated into a 20-year cumulative production as a function of the well spacing, with the results indicating that lower permeability reservoirs require closer well spacing. In the case of a large number of long fractures, wells need to be placed further away from each other to minimize well interference. This paper gives the recommended MSF horizontal well spacing for several development scenarios in Saudi Arabian gas reservoir environments. Although each area must be individually studied and optimized, the results will provide engineers with guidelines to better plan gas field development with the application of MSF technology.
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