Micro-seismic result has shown that compared to conventional reservoir, more complex fracture network will be generated in shale gas reservoirs after hydraulic fracturing stimulations, which provides key channels for shale gas to flow in economic rate. It is vitally important to recognize complex fracture network and model such complex system to better understand gas develop process, optimize hydraulic fracturing design, and determine development plans of shale gas reservoirs.

Our proposed model enable realistic modeling of complex fracture network growth even with some uncertainty (SPE 157411), but it is possible to represent large-scale fracture network distribution in reservoir modeling and numerical simulation of shale gas development. In this paper, we used this proposed model to generate hydraulic fracture network distribution in shale formation, taking into account interaction between hydraulic fracture and actual large-scale natural fractures. Integrating hydraulic fracture network results and natural fractures in non-stimulated area, highly constrained unstructured gridding and a connection list are constructed, using the Discrete Fracturing Modeling (DFM) method. This model can effectively predict production performance. With real-world well data, the simulation system calibration is done, and the simulated well production performance has good agreement with real-world producing data. Using this simulation system, effective stimulated reservoir volume (ESRV) is also predicted.

The proposed approach is capable of modeling complex fracture network propagation and predicting well producing rate, if information data on multi-scale pre-existing natural fracture is available. This approach provide one opportunity to predict well production performance and effective stimulated reservoir volume (ESRV), which is also significant for shale gas development plan.

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