A hydraulic fracture treatment in a cased-perforated well may result in the initiation of inclined starter fractures from each perforation. We performed scaled model tests and observed that link-up of starter fractures was affected by the confining stress difference and the pressure in the fracture during a treatment. A large stress difference in the plane perpendicular to the perforations prevents starter fractures from linkage. Also, fracture linkage is affected by the cementation of the well. Fluid flow in the annulus between borehole and casing may results in better linkage, but the fracture may grow through the annulus and avoid the perforations.

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