Effect of Vertical Fractures on Reservoir Behavior--Compressible-Fluid Case
- M. Prats (Shell Development Co.) | P. Hazebroek (Shell Development Co.) | W.R. Strickler (Shell Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- June 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 87 - 94
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6 Formation Evaluation & Management
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The pressure and production behavior of a homogeneous cylindrical reservoir producing a single fluid through a centrally located vertical fracture of limited lateral extent was determined by using mathematical methods to solve the appropriate differential equation. It is assumed that there is no pressure drop within the fracture - that is, that the fracture capacity is infinite. It was found that the production-rate decline of such a reservoir is constant (except for very early times) when the flowing bottom-hole pressure remains constant. The production-rate decline increases as the fracture length increases. Thus, the lateral extent of fractures can be determined from the production-rate declines before and after fracturing or from the decline rate after fracturing when the properties of the formation and fluids are known. The production behavior over most of the productive life of such a fractured reservoir can be represented by an equivalent radial-flow reservoir of equal volume. The effective well radius of this equivalent reservoir is equal to one-fourth the total fracture length (within 7 per cent); the outer radius of this equivalent reservoir is very nearly equal (within 3.5 per cent) to that of the drainage radius of the fractured well. The effective well radius of a reservoir producing at semisteady state is also very nearly equal to one-fourth the total fracture length. It thus appears that the behavior of vertically fractured reservoirs can be interpreted in terms of simple radial-flow reservoirs of large wellbore.
An earlier report has considered the effect of a vertical fracture on a reservoir producing an incompressible fluid. That investigation of the fractured reservoir producing an incompressible fluid was started because of its simplicity. Thus, pertinent behavior of fractured reservoirs was obtained at an early date, while experience was being gained of value in the solution of more complicated fracture problems. One of these more complicated problems, and the one discussed in this report, considers the effect of a compressible fluid (instead of incompressible fluids) on the production behavior of a fractured reservoir. In the incompressible-fluid work mentioned, it was shown that the production rate after fracturing could be described exactly by an effective well radius equal to one-fourth the fracture length whenever the pressure drop in the fracture was negligible. Because of the simplification in interpretation, it is a matter of much interest to determine whether the production behavior of reservoirs producing a compressible liquid could be described in terms of an effective well radius which remains essentially constant over the producing life of the field. The details of the mathematical investigation are given in the Appendixes.
IDEALIZATION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE FRACTURED SYSTEM
It is assumed that a horizontal oil-producing layer of constant thickness and of uniform porosity and permeability is bounded above and below by impermeable strata. The reservoir has an impermeable circular cylindrical outer boundary of radius r e. The fracture system is represented by a single, plane, vertical fracture of limited radial extent, bounded by the impermeable matrix above and below the producing layer (reservoir). It is assumed that there is no pressure drop in the fracture due to fluid flow. Fig. 1 indicates the general three-dimensional geometry of the fractured reservoir just described. When gravity effects are neglected, the flow behavior in the reservoir is independent of the vertical position in the oil sand. Thus, the flow behavior in the fractured reservoir is described by the two-dimensional flow behavior in a horizontal cross-section of the reservoir, such as the one shown in Fig. 2.
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