A fit-for-purpose integrated subsurface study was carried out in a tight gas field in Oman to evaluate the stimulation process in horizontal wells. The objective is to explore the role of vertically and laterally heterogeneous in situ stress for hydraulic fracture (HF) propagation, and to quantify its effect on hydraulic fracture stimulation efficiency using a 3D fully-coupled hydraulic fracturing simulator for complex geological conditions. The use of advanced simulation tools that realistically predict the evolution of stresses in 3D allows us to explore the parameter space required to optimally design stimulations for complex tight and unconventional field development [Izadi et al. 2017; Cruz et al. 2018; Izadi et al. 2018].

The goal of this study is to test scenarios that increase production through reservoir contact by use of various fracturing techniques that improve the Stimulated Rock Volume (SRV).

The modeling scenarios include an assessment of:

The impact of high vs. low in situ stress on pressure response, proppant placement and near wellbore conductivity

The impact of in situ stress magnitude in near wellbore conductivity

The impact of fluid properties and landing zone on proppant transport

The effect of laminations on proppant transport

The impact of HF/natural fracture interactions on SRV

This study illustrates that for complex reservoirs where spatial heterogeneities, preexisting natural fractures, or transitional stress states are present, advanced 3D modeling provides insight critical to optimize development strategy. Through parametric stimulation modeling design, mechanisms driving drilling, completion, stimulation and productions processes can be honed to optimize and better manage the primary risks to development in tight/unconventional reservoirs .

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