Understanding fracture height growth can be of great significance to optimizing field development and improving recovery. The Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site 2 (HFTS-2) has provided a unique opportunity and an advanced data set to allow us to observe and understand fracture geometries rigorously. Low-frequency distributed acoustic sensing (LF-DAS) data from a vertical well in HFTS-2 showed three key observations: (i) excessive upward height growth (>1,000 ft) and limited downward growth of the hydraulic fractures during pumping, (ii) considerable additional upward fracture height growth (~300 ft) after well shut in, and (iii) very complex LF-DAS strain rate patterns for a small fiber-to-stage offset. Advanced geomechanical modeling was performed to simulate the hydraulic fracture propagation and the resulting strain responses in the vertical direction. The modeling results demonstrated asymmetric upward and downward fracture height growths as observed in HFTS-2 with a similar upward height growth rate. Simulated waterfall plots of vertical strain rate showed distinct patterns for different fiber-to-fracture distances. The upward-growing fracture tip can be clearly identified by the interfaces between compressing and extending zones. It was also found that the complex strain rate patterns observed in HFTS-2 for small fiber-stage offsets were not caused by the mechanical layering but possibly result from the simultaneous propagation of multiple hydraulic fractures at different rates. The simulation results improved the understating of the HFTS-2 LF-DAS data, and the simulated strain rate patterns could also serve as templates for fracture height interpretation from LF-DAS data in future.

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