In recent years, oil and gas well operators have frequently specified highly-deviated or horizontal wells to improve reservoir contact. Although some reservoirs can be efficiently developed with unstimulated horizontal laterals, in most formations hydraulic fracturing will further improve production rates, ultimate hydrocarbon recovery, and overall field economics.

The Bombay offshore basin is the largest oil reservoir in India, and has been successfully developed with both vertical and horizontal wellbores. Despite the success of current horizontal drilling techniques, significant improvements are possible in the stimulation of these horizontal wells. Although many considerations for stimulating horizontal wells are similar to stimulation of vertical wells, there are some special challenges for horizontal well stimulation that must be addressed.

In this paper, two of these issues, fracture orientation and proppant selection, are discussed in detail. Related topics including wellbore orientation, reservoir contact, flow convergence, perforation strategies, and realistic proppant conductivity are addressed. Field examples demonstrate that hydrocarbon production can be improved with careful treatment design. It is found that the fracture orientation, proppant type, and proppant size have significant effect on ultimate production results. Experience gained from hydraulically fractured horizontal wells in North America, Siberia, and the North Sea is described.

With this rich experience through horizontal well technology, it is possible to improve hydrocarbon recovery in the Bombay offshore basin with more effectively stimulated horizontal wells.

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