In designing hydraulic fracturing treatments, the designed fracture length is often limited to a percent of the drainage distance. If the well spacing is based on a square pattern, the results may be that the designed fracture length is too small to achieve adequate production at an early time. If the fracture length is increased to provide adequate early-time production rates and the spacing is increased accordingly but still in a square pattern, the result may be that a large portion of the reserves will remain in place after a normal 20- or 30-year well life. A number of papers have been written concerning fracture optimization and well spacing indicating the need for a rectangular drainage shape. This paper shows how cumulative production type curves for hydraulically fractured wells can be used as guidelines in determining the combinations of fracture length, fracture conductivity, spacing and spacing geometry to provide an adequate early production (one to two years) and efficient reserve recovery (±90% in 20 to 30 years). The method presented can be performed in a matter of minutes. It can also provide a basis for a more thorough reservoir simulation if more detail or accuracy is required to overcome the limitations imposed by the use of type curves.

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