The emergence of the ultra-low permeability formations, such as Marcellus Shale, as a target of exploration and development has created new challenges for resource development. To achieve economic production from shale formations massive stimulation treatments are required. Horizontal wells are the most effective in providing access to the formation to perform multi-stage hydraulic fracturing treatments. The limited field experience with multiple hydraulic fractures in horizontal wells indicates that significant increase in initial production can be achieved as the number of hydraulic fractures is increased. However, the production performance, particularly over longer time periods, is not well established.

The objective of this study was to analyze the production performance of multiply fractured horizontal well completed in Marcellus Shale to determine the long term production performance. The production history from a number of Marcellus Shale horizontal well in West Virginia were collected and analyzed using different commercial reservoir simulators. The impact of reservoir and hydraulic fracture parameters on the production performance and gas desorption were also investigated. The results indicated the presence of number of different flow regimes. The hydraulic fractures appear to dominate the early production performance while the later production is influenced by natural fractures. The results can be utilized to investigate the feasibility horizontal wells with multiple hydraulic fractures and optimize the production from the shale formation.

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