Hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells is a relatively novel stimulation treatment. For most depths of petroleum interest fractures away from the well are vertical and normal to the minimum horizontal stress direction. If a horizontal well is drilled at a trajectory other than the expected fracture direction a complicated fracture-to-well connection is likely to occur. Past literature has suggested a longitudinal fracture initiation followed by a tortuous turning path towards the final fracture direction, or multiple fractures.

This phenomenon happens within a distance that is a few times the well diameter. The consequences are increased treatment pressures and a potentially severe fracture width reduction at the turning point. Posttreatment production performance is likely to be affected substantially. Reservoir simulation studies were carried out demonstrating the dependence of production rate on the angle between the horizontal well and the final fracture trajectory, the length of the perforated interval and the dimensionless fracture conductivity, under an assumption of a choke effect at the turning point. An angle threshold was identified beyond which the well production decreases significantly.

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