An Easy and Fast EDFM Method for Production Simulation in Shale Reservoirs with Complex Fracture Geometry

Miao, Jijun (SimTech LLC / The University of Texas at Austin) | Yu, Wei (Texas A&M University) | Xia, Zhaohui (PetroChina) | Zhao, Wenguang (PetroChina) | Xu, Yifei (The University of Texas at Austin) | Sepehrnoori, Kamy (The University of Texas at Austin)


The complex fracture geometry results in nonuniform spatial drainage volume along the wellbore, which significantly affects fracture design and well spacing optimization (Yu et al., 2017). Hence, simple fracture geometries such as bi-wing planar fractures and orthogonal fracture networks, which are used in the reservoir simulation, are inadequate to capture the complex nature of fracture geometry. To properly account for the fracture complexity in the reservoir modeling, some semi-analytical models have been developed (Zhou et al., 2013; Yu et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2017; Zuo et al., 2018). However, the semianalytical methods are difficult to use for multiphase flow and complex natural fractures. At the same time, considerable efforts have been devoted to developing advanced numerical reservoir models using unstructured gridding to incorporate the fracture complexity (Sandver et al., 2012; Mirzaei and Cipolla, 2012; Hui et al., 2013). However, the computational efficiency of the unstructured grids is not high for dealing with a large number of complex fractures. Recently, a simple and fast EDFM (Embedded Discrete Fracture Model) method in conjunction with reservoir simulators in a non-intrusive manner has been developed (Xu et al., 2017a, 2017b), which can be applied to explicitly model any complex fractures using structured grids.