The use of horizontal wells and hydraulic fracture completion practices has become the norm today, particularly in unconventional reservoirs. These wells and their completions present unique challenges to engineers’ efforts to optimize and reliably forecast well performance. Where to drill wells is generally not the issue. The primary decisions are orientation of the lateral(s), length of the lateral(s), vertical placement of the lateral(s) in the formation, number and size of the hydraulic fracture treatments, and well spacing.
All of these operational decisions revolve around the stimulated rock volume (SRV) created by the hydraulic fracture treatment. Proper understanding of the SRV creation and its interaction with the reservoir matrix and natural fracture systems is paramount. The geometry, extent and complexity of fractures within the SRV impact the fracture surface area available for interaction with the matrix.
Reservoir simulation, if properly employed, is the best tool available for addressing these issues. This presentation will discuss a new approach to evaluating hydraulically fractured horizontal wells. This approach utilizes assisted history matching software and a commercial, dual porosity reservoir simulator with special geomechanical modifications.
Many operational decisions cannot be properly addressed with statistical methods or “conventional” modeling approaches. This new modeling approach providesknowledge about the flow behavior of the hydraulic fracturing process and the reservoir’s natural fracture/matrix system for the well(s) being studied. Unlike the conventional approaches this information can then be used to investigate operational decisions for future wells planned in the same reservoir.
Examples of actual wells studied in the Bakken, Three Forks, Eagle Ford and Wolfcamp reservoirs will be shown.