Development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, particularly the shale gas, gas-condensate, and shale oil, has gained tremendous momentum in recent years. Energy companies aggressively are adding unconventional hydrocarbon resources to their portfolios. The unconventional resources usually refer to ultra low permeability reservoirs that cannot be produced at economic rates or volumes without stimulation of near well-bore regions. New technologies of horizontal well coupled with staged hydraulic fracturing have made the development of these reservoirs an economic reality. But often, the initial attractive production rates decline fast and thus making them economically marginal and sometimesoperationally unattractive. In order to efficiently produce these reservoirs, it is important to understand the flow mechanism and the controlling rock and fluid parameters that significantly impact thelong term production performance of these resources.

We have conducted detailed reservoir simulation studies to investigate the impact of rock and fluid properties and the drainage area of hydraulically fractured wells in a standard development pattern. The simulation of horizontal wells with 14-stage hydraulic fractures was conducted in a shale reservoir containing a wide spectrum of rock and fluid types, dry gas to gas-condensate, and oil. An extensive compositional reservoir simulation was conducted using both radial grid and sector model. Short term production data from several horizontal wells and long term production data from one vertical well were used for history matching and model calibration. A number of cases have been run with a wide range of fracture, matrix and fluid properties considering condensate banking, fracture patterns, pore volume compressibility, and relative permeability. The results showed

  • Cumulative oil production is sensitive to fluid properties, particularly to the GOR

  • Severe drop in productivity is observed due to matrix and fracture compaction and condensate banking

  • The drainage area and the contact area of the fractures with the reservoir are often limited in spite of extensive hydraulic fractures

  • Performance is also found to be sensitive to fracture permeability and matrix relative permeability

  • Fracture interference is limited and may occur in the late life of the reservoir

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