Gas flow in shale gas reservoirs occurs primarily from ultra low permeability shale rocks through a complex network of natural and induced hydraulic fractures. Consequently, fracture parameters (conductivity and half length), fracture location and distribution are the dominant factors influencing well drainage volumes and shale gas well performance. Stimulated reservoir volume or SRV, estimated from microseismic event clouds or rate/pressure transient analysis, describes a measurement of overall reservoir volume impacted by fracture treatments. With SRV as well as the dynamic production/pressure response, reservoir simulation models can be calibrated to actual well performance in shale gas reservoirs leading to improved understanding, forecasting and future well placement.
In this paper, we first introduce a novel approach for computing well drainage volume for shale gas wells with multistage fractures and fracture clusters. Next, we calibrate the shale gas reservoir model by matching the drainage volume with the SRV within specified confidence limits. The matching of the SRV is done in addition to the traditional history matching of production/pressure response and further constrains the estimation of fracture parameters. An evolutionary algorithm with design of experiments is used for the assisted history matching. Sensitivities to various parameters such as fracture conductivity, fracture half lengths and rock compaction have also been investigated. The proposed approach has been applied to a generic shale gas well designed after a real field case. The results clearly indicate the benefits of including SRV during history matching, leading to improved fracture/matrix parameter estimation and performance forecasting. Our proposed approach provides an important tool that can be used to optimize well placement, fracture treatments and improve the economics of shale gas plays.