Effect of Completion Heterogeneity in a Horizontal Well With Multiple Fractures on the Long-Term Forecast in Shale-Gas Reservoirs
- Morteza Nobakht (University of Calgary) | Raymond Ambrose (Hilcorp Energy Company) | Christopher R. Clarkson (University of Calgary) | Jerry E. Youngblood (Devon Energy) | Rod Adams (Devon Energy)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 417 - 425
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation
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Shale gas reservoirs have become a significant source of gas supply in NorthAmerica because of the advancement of drilling and stimulation techniquesenabling commercial development. The most popular method for exploiting shalegas reservoirs today is the use of long horizontal wells completed withmultiple-fracturing stages [multifractured horizontal wells (MFHW)]. Thestimulation process may result in biwing fractures or a complexhydraulic-fracture network. However, there is no method to differentiatebetween these two scenarios with production data analysis alone, makingaccurate forecasting difficult.
For simplicity, hydraulic fractures are often considered biwing whenanalyzing production data. A conceptual model that is often used for analyzingMFHWs is that of a homogeneous completion in which all fractures have the samelength. However, fractures of equal length are rarely if ever observed (Ambroseet al. 2011).
In this paper, production data from heterogeneous MFHWs (i.e., where allfracture lengths are not the same) is studied for reservoirs with extremely lowpermeability. First, the simplified forecasting method of Nobakht et al.(2012), developed for homogeneous completions, is extended to heterogeneouscompletions. For one specific case, the Arps' decline exponent is correlated tothe heterogeneity of the completion. It is found that, as expected, Arps'decline exponent (used after the end of linear flow) increases with theheterogeneity of the completion. Finally, it is shown that ignoring theheterogeneity of the completion can have a material effect on the long-termforecast.
We have assumed planar hydraulic-fracture geometries for our modelling inthis work and discuss the implications of this when more-complex fracturegeometries are created. This seems to be more common in shale gas reservoirs.We provide an example of low-complexity, planar fracture geometries creatednear an MFHW and observed on an image log at an offset well.
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