Many shale plays are being successfully developed throughout North America. Numerous studies have attempted to focus on the possible success mechanisms for these unconventional formations. The focus of these studies tends to fall into two distinct camps, (1) complexity and (2) the rock. It is the intent of this paper to show, however, that these two mechanisms are not distinct and independent and that they are in fact very interrelated.

This paper looks at two main issues: laboratory investigation of the stress sensitivity of un-propped fractures for several active unconventional formations, and Discrete Natural Fracture (DFN) simulation of the effect of this on post-frac production.

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