Shale-gas resource plays have started a new era for hydrocarbon exploitation in the energy industry worldwide. Latest advancements in drilling and stimulation are enabling technologies that make production of shale reservoirs economically viable. Multistage hydraulic-fracturing, the key technology to enhanced well performance, creates complex stimulated reservoir volumes, surrounding the wellbore, which are the main contributors to higher production profiles. Understanding the performance of such very tight, low permeability media and associated flow, introduces new challenges. Modern reservoir simulation powered by microseismic information, offers the best techniques to help understand them; evaluate the performance of wells; estimate the ultimate recovery; and help maximize the production.

Reservoir simulation provides cost-effective ways of understanding the shale-gas reservoirs behavior, and supplies information operators need to make quicker and better field development decisions. Reservoir simulation technology can optimize hydraulic-fracturing to maximize profitability and realistically simulate its effects in heterogeneous reservoirs involving multiphase, multicomponent fluid-flow and adsorption/desorption mechanisms. This is highly desirable to the industry. Properly describing the hydraulic fractures, their geometry and position; and characterizing reservoir/fracture properties are the main challenges.

This innovative work presents integrated workflows that demonstrate effective methodologies for capturing the essential characteristics of shale reservoirs; link seamlessly with microseismic fracture mapping software to import detailed descriptions of hydraulic-fracture attributes; offer flexible gridding schemes and populate the physical properties to enhance modeling of wells stimulated with hydraulic-fracturing. Ultimate conclusions of achievements include help generating more accurate forecasts which are critical for understanding wells performance and maximizing productivity.

This research has led to leading-edge reservoir simulation techniques to be utilized by the global E&P industry that enable operators to develop an early understanding of the performance of shale-gas wells where such detailed knowledge is vital to optimizing exploitation economics and estimation of reserves and resource potential.

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