Enhancing Tight Gas Recovery Through Hydraulic Fracture Treatment Design Optimization
Tight and deep unconventional gas reservoirs are becoming targets for development but the conventional approach to develop them is not feasible. In most cases, they cannot be produced economically without hydraulic fracturing. There have been much progress in the overall hydraulic fracturing procedures to stimulate tight formation, but there is still a lack in treatment-design optimization. Some of the currently available commercial software do not take into consideration several key parameters and associated realistic constraints.
An integrated model to optimize hydraulic fracture treatment has been developed to enhance gas production and net present value with minimum treatment cost. This model couples with the industry experience with hydraulic fracture mechanics. Unlike commercial software, important design parameters are included. The free design variables are randomly varied during optimization. The overall hydraulic fracturing design problem is viewed as a multi-objective and multivariate system design problem, which recognizes complex interactions between a hydraulically coupled fracture geometry model, a hydrocarbon production model and an investment-return cash flow model. The integrated model has been successfully applied to a hypothetical deeper tight gas formation to demonstrate its merits. The optimum treatment design indicates a 300% increment in production over 10 years at a lower cost compared to production from non-fractured tight gas sand. This optimization scheme presents a decision support system, which provides a goal-oriented optimum design in a conflicting environment.
Key words: Stimulation; Enhanced recovery; Fracture optimization; Tight gas; Treatment design
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