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Constraints on Simultaneous Growth of Hydraulic Fractures from Multiple Perforation Clusters in Horizontal Wells
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- Andrew Bunger (University of Pittsburgh) | Robert G. Jeffrey (CSIRO) | Xi Zhang (CSIRO)
- Document ID
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 44 in the last 30 days
- 89 since 2007
In spite of the fact that multistage hydraulic fracturing from horizontalwells is the fastest growing and arguably the most economically importantapplication for well stimulation, numerous fundamental questions remain thatare relevant to determining how long to make each isolated interval and howmany perforation clusters to place within each interval. This paper providesnew insights into this problem by predicting how many hydraulic fractures canbe expected to grow simultaneously from multiple perforation clusterspressurized by a single injection stage. These predictions are obtained from acoupled mathematical model that includes the contributions of fluid flow, rockbreakage, and pressure loss through the perforations to the total powerrequirements for the growth of arrays of multiple hydraulic fractures. Fortypical shale gas stimulations, radial hydraulic fractures are predicted togrow from all perforation clusters, with progressive reduction in the number ofhydraulic fractures, thereby maintaining a ratio of the radius to the spacingthat is a small amount less than unity. If the hydraulic fractures arecontained to a height H, then multiple Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) -likehydraulic fractures are predicted to continue growing, with the length of eachhydraulic fracture increasing throughout the injection and with a spacing thatis approximately 1.5 H when perforation losses are strong andapproximately 2.5 H when perforation losses are negligible. Thesegeometric predictions are consistent with previously published observationsbased on microseismicity associated with stimulations in the Barnett Shale.
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