The applications of horizontal well technology coupled with hydraulic fracturing in the development of low permeability gas reservoirs are investigated.

Analytical single phase and multiphase pseudo-steady state inflow performance equations for a horizontal wellbore intersecting multiple hydraulic fractures are presented. The effects of permeability anisotropy, wellbore location eccentricity, and fracture characteristics are considered. The phenomena of non-Darcy flow is also accounted for in the inflow equation associated with the flow of gas phase. These solutions provide a basis for the productivity evaluation and production forecasting of horizontal wells with multiple hydraulic fractures.

A new analytical method for predicting the future production performance of gas reservoirs is derived. The method is based on material balance analyses in which explicit pressure expressions as functions of cumulative production data and gas properties are derived for various types of gas reservoirs. Detailed production forecasting procedures are developed by using the derived pressure functions and appropriate inflow performance equations. The new production forecasting method has been further implemented on a computer. As a result, the future production performance of a gas reservoir can be easily predicted for any given scheme of horizontal drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing, and combinations of reservoir rock and fluid properties.

With an economic evaluation, the new method may be used in the initial screening of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing prospects in low permeability gas reservoirs. It may also be used in daily production operations and reservoir management. A hypothetical case study is presented which demonstrates the applicability of the new inflow performance equations and production forecasting method in the recovery optimization of a low permeability gas reservoir by combining horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology.

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