A new method is presented to calculate the total inflow and associated productivity index (PI) under two-phase conditions by a sum of contributions from matrix and N multiple fractures using semi-analytical methods. Maximizing the net Present present value (NPV), the new inflow performance relationship (IPR) models can determine the optimal fracture stage number. Furthermore, the deliverable PI is used as an input to a network model to calculate the operating rate, taking into account the network constraints such as the node pressure, allowed flowrate, or choke in place. Through this analysis, one may determine that the horizontal well of interest may not flow at the maximum PI―it suggests that the network constraints dissipate the contribution from m stage(s) fractures. The number of fracture stages is then reset to (N–m), the IPR model is rerun, and an updated PI is imported into the network model. This process is iterated until the final optimization is achieved.

This method can quickly optimize the number of fracture stages for horizontal wells under two-phase solution-gas conditions, assisting operating companies in planning field development.

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