Enhancing oil recovery -Advanced simulations for more accurate frac-stages placement

Bilal Saad, Ardiansyah Negara, Maaruf Hussain, Mokhtar Elgassier, Shuyu Sun, King Abdullah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Hydraulic fracture stimulation designs are typically made of multiple stages placed along the lateral section of the well using various well completion technologies. Understanding how multiple hydraulic fractures propagate and interact with each other is essential for an effective stimulation design. The number and placement of stages are important factors for optimizing the performance of the laterals. This in turn depends on accuracy in determining fracture interference. We present advanced simulations for accurate placement of well stages. In this paper, we use a 3-D fully coupled geomechanical-fluid flow simulator which incorporates anisotropic geomechanical properties. Densely complex natural fractures and lamination are built into the model based on available core and log information. Multiple fractures are concurrently imployed to simulate real life scenarios. Fluid pressures are incrementally computed such that stress state changes dynamically with time as it happens in real field situation. Our simulations were run on Cray XC 40 HPC system. The results demonstrate that the stress shadow effects can significantly alter hydraulic fracture propagation behavior, which eventually affects the final fracture geometry. The results show that there are large differences in aperture throughout the stimulation which persists to the end of pumping. Furthermore comparison between cases with and without complex natural fractures (discrete fracture network (DFN)) and lamination was conducted with even and uneven spacing configurations. Fracture interference and spacing analysis conducted based on model with perforation frictions shows that while spacing between fractures is important, the largest impact was observed in the presence of lamination and DFN. The large differences in the way the fracture propagates highly depend on the DFN connectivity. Late-stage connection throughout the model implies later disconnection when the pressure drops. Though the computations are time intensive, we believe this is a valuable tool to use in the planning stages for asset development to increase production potential.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781613994825
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


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