Advanced Modeling of Horizontal Well Performance Under Different Re-fracturing Designs in Tight Oil Reservoir

Lei, Zhengdong (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina) | Yang, Xinping (Exploration and Development Research Institute of Xinjiang Oilfield Company) | Li, Xiaoshan (Exploration and Development Research Institute of Xinjiang Oilfield Company) | Hu, Die (University of Calgary) | Wu, Yushu (Colorado School of Mines) | Peng, Yan (China university of Petroleum, Beijing)



Re-fracturing of a horizontal well is a method to restore the productivity of the well in unconventional reservoirs after the expected production decline. Consequently, a re-fracturing approach may be necessary to improve/enhance production and ultimate recovery. However, there are many challenges for optimizing re-fracturing treatment design, due to lack accurate quantification of depletion-induced pressure and local stress change around fractures. The workflow presented can be applied to study and optimize a re-fracturing job to prevent potentially catastrophic fracture hits during re-fracturing operations.

In this paper, an integrated re-fracturing workflow was created and applied to determine the optimum re-fracturing strategy for multi-wells pad. This comprehensive workflow represents a multidisciplinary approach that integrates complex hydraulic fracture models, geomechanical models, and multi-well production simulation. The approach is able to couple simulated 3D reservoir pressure with a geomechanical model to quantify depletion-induced stress and pressure field change. Then, the altered stress field is utilized as the input for modeling the new fracture system created by the re-fracturing treatment. Two field cases from a tight oil reservoir are evaluated by comparing the model prediction to the pressure response. The model prediction agrees well with the observed pressure response and surface tiltmeter observations. The synthetic cases of interference between wells due to stresses and fracture design (number, placement and timing) are investigated in this work. A systematic sensitivity study is performed on the effects of re-fracturing time, fracturing spacing.

It is shown that quantification of stress field changes during reservoir depletion provides new insights for the design and evaluation of re-fracturing treatments to enhance field development. There is a critical time in the life of the well that protection refrac could help pressurizing the formation directly by increasing pore pressure through fluid injection and indirectly by mechanical dilation of existing fractures. The dynamic changes of stress field can guide the optimization of re-fracturing mode and zipper fracturing to reduce stress shadow effect. The dynamic change of the pressure field optimizes the fracturing fluid volume, which can increases the volume of the fracture transformation and supply formation energy.

The paper presents aN approach in calculating stress changes and dynamic fracture propagation into depleted region over time. Results obtained by this study give better understanding about propagation of new fractures as well as old fractures in re-fracturing process.