To understand production from shale reservoirs, the role of hydraulically induced fractures, natural fractures, and their interaction in a formation must be captured. Implementation of such approaches is data-intensive and is accurate only when the field is fully characterized. A model has been developed in which fractures are discretized explicitly and flow is coupled by use of simplified mechanics. It can be considered as an intermediate method between a fully developed discrete-fracture-network (DFN) model and simplified hydraulic-fracturing models
The current view is that many unconventional reservoirs comprise well-developed natural-fracture networks with multiple orientations within which complex hydraulic-fracture patterns develop, as suggested by microseismic data. The unconventional-reservoir modeling process follows a multidisciplinary integrated approach that includes specific aspects of geophysics, geology, laboratory work, and reservoir engineering. To understand the shale-deformation processes, the flow should be coupled with mechanics, yet the complexity of the involved mechanisms governing stimulation modeling precludes very fast simulations.
Characterizing all parameters is a challenge because of the uncertainty of natural-fracture distribution, potential local stress changes, and the lack of reservoir description in three dimensions. The best practice able to capture the most-important phenomena, integrating while being accurately predictive, is not yet defined....
A Practical Simulation Method Capturing Complex Hydraulic-Fracturing Physics
20 September 2015