Although fracture models are predictive, and physical measurements are accurate, both require a certain level of scientific knowledge and training to interpret and execute correctly. Based on this understanding, if we can create fracture models that are highly accurate, we can make predictions more effective and valuable.
One technique makes modeling a more useful tool for designing, fine-tuning, and implementing fracturing treatments. Physical measurements of mini-fracture dimensions are input into a fracture model, allowing the model to more accurately reflect reality. After the model matches both the observed net pressure response and the directly measured hydraulic fracture geometry (the model is calibrated), the model can more closely predict the outcome of a main fracturing treatment. A survey of stimulation experts indicates that many think this step can more than double the value of using a model compared to simply using fluid-efficiency data. This paper discusses how physical measurements from a mini-frac treatment can be input into a fracturing model. Case histories will illustrate how decisions were made to alter fracturing designs and mitigate the risks associated with proppant placement.