Fractured horizontal wells are widely used to produce tight oil. But different fracture patterns could be generated in different reservoirs, which results in different well performances. How to identify the flow regimes and their impacts on performance is still challenging. This paper provides a method for flow regime identification of horizontal wells with different hydraulic fracture patterns in tight reservoirs.

First, four different fracture patterns of hydraulically fractured horizontal wells in different types of tight oil reservoirs are classified, according to the fracture network identified from micro-seismic observation and laboratory experiments. Then, corresponding well performances are simulated based on various conceptual reservoir simulation models. The simulation results are further used for rate transient analysis. Finally, flow regimes and corresponding production periods of each pattern are identified and classified, and well performances are also analyzed.

Flow regimes of different fracture patterns are identified based on rate transient analysis with input of reservoir simulation results. Different patterns have different flow regimes. For instance, there are linear flow, radial flow and boundary dominated flow in Pattern A, while bilinear flow, linear flow, radial flow and boundary dominated flow are prevail in Pattern C. The corresponding production phase of each flow regime is also classified. It can be seen that different scales of pores and fractures have different impacts on different patterns and production phases. In pattern A and Pattern D, large fractures determines the initial production rate and performance of linear flow, and more oil is produced in linear flow stage than in radial and boundary dominated flow periods. While in Pattern B and Pattern C, micro-nano fractures and pores are much more developed, which have more cumulative production and better performances during radial flow and boundary dominated flow.

The results are applied to the tight oil reservoirs in Junggar and Erdos Basin in China. Analysis of all fractured horizontal wells indicates that most are pattern A and Pattern B, and linear flow occurs in the early production period in all the patterns. If hydraulic fractures are long enough, bilinear flow could happen. Well performances are correctly predicted based on the well flow regime identification.

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