Comprehensive hydraulic fracture simulation models have been used to predict fracture propagation behaviour, geometry and conductivity. Extensive studies have been made in order to calibrate and assess the accuracy of these predictions; this has made possible the development of highly accurate models such as the 3D fracture simulation programs currently in use. However, when estimating the production performance of the hydraulically fractured wells, an essential step during hydraulic fracture designs, in most cases analytical approaches are used, which have the limitation that they that cannot reproduce the complexities associated with flow from the near wellbore area into the well.

The introduction of formation damage (skin) factors to account for the complexities associated with the flow in the near wellbore area further limits understanding as to how the sand-face completion and final fracture design interact, limiting the ability to provide an optimum implementation that maximises the well performance.

A comprehensive numerical model, which considers Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), was used to estimate the inflow performance of single and multiple fractured wells, taking into consideration reservoir heterogeneities and completion characteristics. Porous media inertial and viscous effects were accounted for, considering different sets of values for the formation and the fracture(s) domains. 3D CFD was used to identify the impact of the perforation strategy, multilayer reservoir fracture intersection, multiple fractures and petrophysical heterogeneities on well performance for oil reservoirs. The study demonstrates, through the detailed understanding of the inflow in the near wellbore area, that it is possible to optimize the sand-face completion design and has been applied on a field re-development project on a multilayer reservoir system.

The use of CFD supported by today's available computational capabilities, provides the base platform to increase the understanding of the near wellbore flow behaviour in fractured wells leading to optimum sand-face completion and final production performance.

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