Shale gas reservoirs are quickly becoming an important source for natural gas. Historically, the shale basins were not looked at for economic production because of their very low permeability values. However, with the use of hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal well completions, shale plays have become economically producible, especially the Marcellus shale. In order for these wells to produce, hydraulic fracturing must be employed. This technique makes production viable, but it also changes the in-situ stress field, through the fracture itself and the increased production that occurs. This change in the stress field can damage the wellbore and compromise the integrity of the casing.
In this study, geomechanic and reservoir models were constructed using commercially available software to study the change of the stress field in the formation. The parameters of the hydraulic fracture were varied to study the effects of the hydraulic fracture half length and the fracture permeability on the stress field, specifically near the wellbore.