This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 201694, “Interwell Fracturing Interference Evaluation of Multiwell Pads in Shale Gas Reservoirs: A Case Study in WY Basin,” by Youwei He, SPE, Jianchun Guo, SPE, and Yong Tang, Southwest Petroleum University, et al., prepared for the 2020 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, originally scheduled to be held in Denver, Colorado, 5–7 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.

The paper aims to determine the mechanisms of fracturing interference for multiwell pads in shale gas reservoirs and evaluate the effect of interwell fracturing interference on production. Field data of 56 shale gas wells in the WY Basin are applied to calculate the ratio of affected wells to newly fractured wells and understand its influence on gas production. The main controlling factors of fracturing interference are determined, and the interwell fracturing interacting types are presented. Production recovery potential for affected wells is analyzed, and suggestions for mitigating fracturing interference are proposed.

Interwell Fracturing Interference Evaluation

The WY shale play is in the southwest region of the Sichuan Basin, where shale gas reserves in the Wufeng-Longmaxi formation are estimated to be the highest in China. The reservoir has produced hydrocarbons since 2016.

Infill well drilling and massive hydraulic fracturing operations have been applied in the basin. Each well pad usually is composed of six to eight multifractured horizontal wells (MFHWs). Well spacing within one pad, or the distance between adjacent well pads, is so small that fracture interference can occur easily between infill wells and parent wells. Fig. 1 shows the number of wells affected by in-fill well fracturing from 2016 to 2019 in the basin. As the number of newly drilled wells increased between 2017 and 2019, the number of wells affected by hydraulic fracturing has greatly increased. The number of wells experiencing fracturing interaction has reached 65 in the last 4 years at the time of writing.

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