A Laplace-Domain Hybrid Model for Representing Flow Behavior of Multifractured Horizontal Wells Communicating Through Secondary Fractures in Unconventional Reservoirs
- Pin Jia (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Linsong Cheng (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Christopher R. Clarkson (University of Calgary) | Farhad Qanbari (University of Calgary) | Shijun Huang (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Renyi Cao (China University of Petroleum, Beijing)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,856 - 1,876
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- secondary fracture, flow behavior, Laplace domain, multi-well communication, pressure interference
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 393 since 2007
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In a multiwell pad, the chance of interwell communication increases because of the creation of primary and secondary fractures during hydraulic-fracture stimulation. The flow behavior associated with communicating wells is significantly different from that of a single isolated well, because of interplay of flow caused by the interconnected fractures, complex connections, and multiple production conditions. The main purpose of this paper is to develop a rigorous and efficient flow model and quantify flow characteristics of multiple pad wells communicating through primary and secondary fractures.
In the model, matrix and primary- and secondary-fracture flows are captured. Fractures are explicitly represented by discrete segments. The Laplace-transform finite-difference (LTFD) method is used to numerically model fracture flow, with sufficient flexibility to consider arbitrary fracture geometries and fracture-conductivity distributions. The analytical matrix-flow model, derived with the line-source function in the Laplace domain, is dynamically coupled with the fracture-flow model, by imposing the continuity of pressure and flux on the fracture surface. Thus, a hybrid model in the Laplace domain is constructed. The main advantage of the solution occurring in Laplace domain is that computations can be performed at predetermined, discrete times, and with grids only for fractures. Thus, stability and convergence problems caused by time discretization are avoided, and the burden of gridding and computation is decreased without loss of important fracture characteristics.
The model is validated through comparison with a fully numerical simulator and a semi-analytical model. Detailed flow-regime analysis reveals that pressure interference caused by communication significantly alters the flow signature compared with single (isolated) wells. Before interference, the communicating wells behave as single isolated wells, and will exhibit a fracture linear-flow period and possibly even a matrix linear-flow period. After interference, the flow behavior of the system will vary largely with different production strategies. When the communicating wells all operate under the constant-rate condition, the transient responses of the wells will gradually merge to develop another matrix linear-flow period. If the wells are operated under the constant-bottomhole-pressure (BHP) conditions, the response deviation caused by interference will increase with production; therefore, one of the wells will undergo a rate loss. The results of a sensitivity analysis for a two-well system demonstrate that the time to well interference is primarily determined by secondary-fracture conductivity, number of connections, and communicating-well operating conditions. With larger contrasts in these properties, interference time is accelerated. However, for different production strategies, the effects on the flow behavior after interference are variable.
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