The interest in exploitation of ultra-low permeability formations, such as the Marcellus Shale, has increased in the recent years. Shale formations require massive stimulation treatments to achieve economic production. The recent advances in horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing have proved successful in achieving commercial production. However, the parameters that directly affect lifetime production of the wells have not been well established.
The primary objective of this study is to examine the effects of basic stimulation parameters used in hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale wells on production performance. Historical production data and stimulation treatment information have been collected and analyzed for a number of horizontal wells both in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A commercial reservoir simulator which utilizes a dual porosity model and accounts for adsorbed gas was utilized for history matching and predicting the long term production performance. The impact of the stimulation parameters including number of stages, stage spacing, the volume of water used, and the volume of sand used on production performance was investigated. An understanding of the impact of each stimulation parameter to overall production of a well can be used for the optimization of stimulation treatments.