We propose a novel method for estimating average fracture compressibility during flowback process and apply it to flowback data from 10 multifractured horizontal wells completed in Woodford (WF) and Meramec (MM) formations. We conduct complementary diagnostic flow-regime analyses and calculate by combining a flowing-material-balance (FMB) equation with pressure-normalized-rate (PNR)-decline analysis.
Flowback data of these wells show up to 2 weeks of single-phase water production followed by hydrocarbon breakthrough. Plots of water-rate-normalized pressure and its derivative show pronounced unit slopes, suggesting boundary-dominated flow (BDF) of water in fractures during single-phase flow. Water PNR decline curves follow a harmonic trend during single-phase- and multiphase-flow periods. Ultimate water production from the forecasted harmonic trend gives an estimate of initial fracture volume. The estimates for these wells are verified by comparing them with the ones from the Aguilera (1999) type curves for natural fractures and experimental data. The results show that our estimates (4 to 22×10−5 psi−1) are close to the lower limit of the values estimated by previous studies, which can be explained by the presence of proppants in hydraulic fractures.