Horizontal wells combined with successful multistage-hydraulic-fracture treatments are currently the most-established method for effectively stimulating and enabling economic development of gas-bearing organic-rich shale formations. Fracture cleanup in the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) is critical to stimulation effectiveness and long-term well performance. However, fluid cleanup is often hampered by formation damage, and post-fracture well performance frequently falls to less than expectations. A systematic study of the factors that hinder fracture-fluid cleanup in shale formations can help optimize fracture treatments and better quantify long-term volumes of produced water and gas. Fracture-fluid cleanup is a complex process influenced by multiphase flow through porous media (relative permeability hysteresis, capillary pressure), reservoir-rock and -fluid properties, fracture-fluid properties, proppant placement, fracture-treatment parameters, and subsequent flowback and field operations. Changing SRV and fracture conductivity as production progresses further adds to the complexity of this problem. Numerical simulation is the best and most-practical approach to investigate such a complicated blend of mechanisms, parameters, their interactions, and subsequent effect on fracture-fluid cleanup and well deliverability. In this paper, a 3D, two-phase, dual-porosity model was used to investigate the effect of multiphase flow, proppant crushing, proppant diagenesis, shut-in time, reservoir-rock compaction, gas slippage, and gas desorption on fracture-fluid cleanup and well performance in Marcellus Shale. The research findings have shed light on the factors that substantially constrain efficient fracture-fluid cleanup in gas shales, and we have provided guidelines for improved fracture-treatment designs and water management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology