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Simultaneous Multifracture Treatments: Fully Coupled Fluid Flow and Fracture Mechanics for Horizontal Wells
- Kan Wu (University of Texas at Austin) | Jon E. Olson (University of Texas At Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- May 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.3 Hydraulic Fracturing and Gravel Packing, 5 Production and Operations, 5.3 Production Enhancement
- displacement discontinuity method, stress shadow, multiple fractures , fracture mechanics
- 44 in the last 30 days
- 516 since 2007
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Successfully creating multiple hydraulic fractures in horizontal wells is critical for unconventional gas production economically. Optimizing the stimulation of these wells will require models that can account for the simultaneous propagation of multiple, potentially nonplanar fractures. In this paper, a novel fracture-propagation model (FPM) is described that can simulate multiple-hydraulic-fracture propagation from a horizontal wellbore. The model couples fracture deformation with fluid flow in the fractures and the horizontal wellbore. The displacement discontinuity method (DDM) is used to represent the mechanics of the fractures and their opening, including interaction effects between closely spaced fractures. Fluid flow in the fractures is determined by the lubrication theory. Frictional pressure drop in the wellbore and perforation zones is taken into account by applying Kirchoff’s first and second laws. The fluid-flow rates and pressure compatibility are maintained between the wellbore and the multiple fractures with Newton’s numerical method. The model generates physically realistic multiple-fracture geometries and nonplanar-fracture trajectories that are consistent with physical-laboratory results and inferences drawn from microseismic diagnostic interpretations. One can use the simulation results of the FPM for sensitivity analysis of in-situ and fracture treatment parameters for shale-gas stimulation design. They provide a physics-based complex fracture network that one can import into reservoir-simulation models for production analysis. Furthermore, the results from the model can highlight conditions under which restricted width occurs that could lead to proppant screenout.
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The SEG Wiki is a useful collection of information for working geophysicists, educators, and students in the field of geophysics. The initial content has been derived from : Robert E. Sheriff's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition.