Shale Development Plan Blends Fracture, Reservoir, and Geomechanics Modeling
- Adam Wilson (JPT Editorial Manager)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 125 - 128
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 126 since 2007
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This article, written by Editorial Manager Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 164018, "Integration of Fracture, Reservoir, and Geomechanics Modeling for Shale Gas Reservoir Development," by Jugal K. Gupta, SPE, Richard A. Albert, SPE, Matias G. Zielonka, SPE, Yao Yao, SPE, Elizabeth Templeton-Barrett, SPE, Shalawn K. Jackson, SPE, and Wadood El-Rabaa, SPE, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, and Heather A. Burnham, SPE, and Nancy H. Choi, SPE, XTO Energy, prepared for the 2013 SPE Middle East Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 28-30 January. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
A multidisciplinary approach integrates fracture characteristics, reservoir production, and stress-field evolution to design and optimize the development of unconventional assets. In this approach, fracture modeling and advanced rate-transient techniques are used to constrain fracture geometry and depletion characteristics of existing wells. This knowledge is used in finite-element geomechanical modeling to predict fracture orientation in nearby wells. In this paper, an integrated methodology is described and applied to a shale-gas pad as a case study.
Although it is generally accepted that geomechanical stresses are important for understanding fracture propagation in shales with low contrast in principal compressive stresses, the absence of precise knowledge of input parameters needed for reliable predictions has limited the broad use and applicability of geomechanical models. Parameters such as permeability, fracture half-length, number of propagated fractures, and geological heterogeneity still carry much uncertainty for shales and can have a significant effect on model predictions. A methodology is presented to address some of these limitations by integrating knowledge derived from production and fracturing data to reduce the uncertainty in key parameters and enable realistic predictions (Fig. 1).
The spatial and temporal evolution of stresses for multiple horizontal fractured shale-gas wells on a pad has been investigated by explicitly modeling each of the hydraulic fractures extending from the wellbore. The models are constructed by use of simplifying assumptions of planar biwing fractures. Both 2D plane-strain and full 3D formulations are used. The results reveal significant reorientation of principal stresses thousands of feet away from a producing well in addition to the anticipated near-fracture stress changes. The reorientation of stresses far from a producing well can have a significant effect on hydraulic-fracture propagation during stimulation of new infill or neighboring wells.
A multidisciplinary approach integrating aspects related to completion, reservoir production, and geomechanics was used to optimize development of unconventional gas assets.
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