Model for Asymmetric Hydraulic Fractures with Non-Uniform Stress Distribution

Hu, Xiaofan (University of Houston) | Liu, Guoqing (University of Houston) | Luo, Guofan (University of Houston) | Ehlig-Economides, Christine (University of Houston)


Engineers commonly expect symmetric fracture wings in multiple transverse fracture horizontal wells (MTFHWs). Microseismic surveys have shown asymmetric hydraulic fracture grow away from the recent fractured wells and grow towards previous produced wells. It might be caused by the elevated stress around the recently fractured well and the reduced stress near the depleted wells. This paper presents the asymmetric fracture growth observed by the microseismic events and develops a simple model to simulate the fracture propagation and its impact on the well productivity. Motivated by the microseismic observations, we developed a simple fracture model to simulate asymmetric fracture wings that can capture the behavior of fracture hits between two adjacent horizontal fractured wells. Also, we developed a model to estimate the productivity of a well with asymmetric fractures. The newly developed fracture model shows that the fracture can grow asymmetrically if the horizontal well is located where stress field is different between its two sides.