Fracturing has become a viable and important option for completing horizontal wells. There are many fracturing processes and methods to consider for placement fractures. Optimization of the completion process including the number and size of fractures is still a challenge.

Although fundamentally similar to fracturing vertical wells, horizontal well fracturing has unique aspects that require special attention to ensure successful treatment. Differences exist between horizontal and vertical wells in the areas of rock mechanics, reservoir engineering, and operations. These aspects affect the optimization process for successful placement of treatments and optimum asset performance.

In this paper we discuss the various factors crucial to successful completion of a fractured horizontal well. We discuss these factors in relation to both longitudinal and transverse fracture applications. Success factors include the optimum perforation process, overcoming fluid flow convergence towards the wellbore in case of a transverse fracture, and the fluid flow and stress interference between multiple fractures.

The paper presents a field case and laboratory and numerical experimentations illustrating the impact of the various factors on the completion of the horizontal wells and the optimization of the fracturing process.

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