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Investigation of the Impact of Fracture Spacing and Fluid Properties for Interfering Simultaneously or Sequentially Generated Hydraulic Fractures
- Kan Wu (University of Texas at Austin) | Jon E. Olson (University of Texas At Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- November 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 427 - 436
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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- 1,109 since 2007
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Using a fully coupled (flow and mechanics) hydraulic-fracture-propagationmodel, we investigate the critical in-situ and treatment factors controllinggeometry in multiple-fracture horizontal wells. Fracture net pressure iscalculated by considering continuity of flow rate and pressure equilibrium inthe fracture and the wellbore between injection points. A 2Ddisplacement-discontinuity method, with correction for finite fracture height,was used to calculate fracture aperture, accounting for mechanical interactionbetween multiple propagating fractures.
Stress-shadow effects change the local stress field in the surrounding rock,influencing fracture geometry. A sensitivity study for simultaneous propagationwas performed, including fracture spacing, velocity exponent, in-situdifferential stress, fluid viscosity, and pump rate. The results show thatclosely spaced hydraulic fractures can cause significant fracture-widthrestriction, increasing the likelihood of premature screenout. Exteriorfractures have greater lengths than interior fractures, and the lengthdifference is more significant for poor injection control. At a low in-situdifferential stress, multiple fractures tend to extend away from one another toreduce the negative mechanical interaction; however, increasing the stressdifference can make fractures propagate along a straight line. Compared withgel hydraulic-fracturing treatments, slickwater treatments generate narrowerand much longer fractures with lower net pressure. In the case ofsimultaneously generating multiple fractures, these slickwater fractures causeless mechanical interference with each other. Increasing pump rate enlargesfracture width slightly and reduces the length. Finally, simultaneous andsequential injection methods were examined showing that these two methodscreate slightly distinct fracture trajectories.
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