Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the interactions between stimulation design and two important geomechanical effects: the variation of least principal stress (Shmin) between lithological layers and the stress shadow effect that arises from simultaneously propagating adjacent hydraulic fractures. To demonstrate these interactions, hydraulic fracture propagation is modeled with a 5-layer geomechanical model representing an actual case study. The model consists of a profile of Shmin measurements made within, below and above the producing interval. The stress variations between layers leads to an overall upward fracture propagation and proppant largely above the producing interval. This is due to interactions between the pressure distribution within the fracture and the stress contrast in the multiple layers. A sensitivity study is done to investigate the complex 3-D couplings between geomechanical constraints and well completion design parameters such as landing zone, cluster spacing, perforation diameter, flow rate and proppant concentration. The simulation results demonstrate the importance of a well characterized stress stratigraphy for prediction of hydraulic fracture characteristics and optimization of operational parameters.

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