Production Pressure Drawdown Management for Fractured Horizontal Wells in Shale Gas Formations

Mirani, Ankit (University of Houston) | Marongiu-Porcu, Matteo (Schlumberger) | Wang, HanYi (University of Texas at Austin) | Enkababian, Philippe (Schlumberger)


The development of unconventional shale gas formations in North America with horizontal multifractured wells is mature enough to identify production malpractices and abnormal productivity declines generally observed within 18 to 24 months of initial production. The primary objective of this study is to address all known causes of these productivity declines and to develop a fully coupled geomechanical-flow simulation model to simulate these production conditions. This model mimics the impact of depletion-induced in-situ stress variations on short-term and long-term productivity by taking into account several phenomena, such as stress-dependent matrix and natural fracture permeability as well as reduction in hydraulic fracture conductivity due to proppant crushing, deformation, embedment, and fracture-face creep. Matrix permeability evolutions, considering the conflicting effects of non-Darcy flow, and compaction, have also been accounted for in this model. Numerical solutions for simplified hydraulic fracture planar geometries are then obtained using a finite element method (FEM) scheme. A synthetic case was defined to investigate the effects of each individual phenomenon on short-term and long-term production. Results show that the combined effects of permeability alterations in matrix and natural fractures as well as conductivity losses in hydraulic fractures may result in substantial gas cumulative production loss.

  Country: North America > United States (1.00)
  Industry: Energy > Oil & Gas > Upstream (1.00)
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