Development of Efficiently Coupled Fluid-Flow/Geomechanics Model To Predict Stress Evolution in Unconventional Reservoirs With Complex-Fracture Geometry
- Anusarn Sangnimnuan (Texas A&M University) | Jiawei Li (Texas A&M University) | Kan Wu (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 640 - 660
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- fracture geometry, Stress evolution, Embedding Discrete Fracture Model (EDFM), Coupled Fluid Flow and Geomechanics
- 12 in the last 30 days
- 543 since 2007
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Stress changes associated with reservoir depletion are often observed in the field. Stress evolution within and surrounding drainage areas can greatly affect further reservoir developments, such as completion of infill wells and refracturing. Previous studies mainly focus on biwing planar-fracture geometry, which limits the possibility of investigating stress evolution caused by complex-fracture geometry. In this paper, we have developed a novel and efficient coupled fluid-flow/geomechanics model with an embedding-discrete-fracture model (EDFM) to characterize stress evolution associated with depletion in unconventional reservoirs with complex-fracture geometry. Coupled geomechanics/fluid flow was developed using the well-known fixed-stress-split method, which is unconditionally stable and computationally efficient to simulate how stress changes during reservoir depletion. EDFM was coupled to the model to gain capability of simulating complex-fracture geometries using structured grids. The model was validated against the classical Terzaghi (1925) and Mandel (1953) problems. Local grid refinement was used as a benchmark when comparing results from EDFM for fractures with 0 and 45° angles of inclination. After that, the model was used to analyze stress distribution and reorientation in reservoirs with three different fracture geometries: planar-fracture (90° angle of inclination), 60° inclination, and nonplanar-fracture geometries. As the pressure decreases, reservoir stresses tend to change anisotropically depending on depletion area. The principal stress parallel to the initial fracture reduces faster than the orthogonal one as a function of time. The decrease rate of principal stresses is distinct for different shapes of depleted areas created by different fracture geometries. The rectangular shape produced by the planar-fracture geometry yields the largest stress-reorientation area for a variety of differential-stress (DS) values (difference between two horizontal principal stresses). The squared shape produced by nonplanar-fracture geometry yields stress reorientation only for low DS. The results indicate that created fracture geometry has a significant effect on stress distribution and reorientation induced by depletion. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a coupled fluid-flow/geomechanics model incorporated with EDFM has been developed to efficiently calculate stress evolution in reservoirs with complex-fracture geometry. Characterization of stress evolution will provide critical guidelines for optimization of completion designs and further reservoir development.
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