Unconventional gas plays are becoming of increasing interest worldwide, as E&P companies search for alternative hydrocarbon resources. Successful E&P operators are increasingly using hydraulic fracturing to maximize production. Multistage hydraulic fracturing, the key technology to enhanced well performance, creates stimulated reservoir volumes (SRV) surrounding the stages. SRV are the main contributors to higher production profiles. Hence, it is very desirable for the E&P industry to evaluate and optimize the hydraulic-fracturing treatment to maximize profitability.

One of the best technologies that can help understand the dynamics of unconventional reservoirs to optimize the wellbore placement and improve well productivity is reservoir modeling and simulation. Main challenges to dynamically model stimulated wells include: properly describing the hydraulic fractures, their geometry and position; and characterizing reservoir/ hydraulic-fracture properties. Innovative reservoir simulation techniques can optimize the number of hydraulic-fracturing stages required and realistically simulate their effect on production in heterogeneous reservoirs involving multiphase, multicomponent fluid-flow and adsorption/desorption mechanisms. However, the simulation approaches the E&P companies are utilizing, over simplify the complex growth and properties of hydraulic fractures, this might result in unreliable forecasts.

This paper presents modern techniques to accurately simulate hydraulically-fractured wells. The developed methodology seamlessly integrates hydraulic-fracturing design/growth software to reservoir simulators to import detailed descriptions of hydraulic-fracture attributes; offers flexible gridding schemes and populates the mentioned properties to enhance the modeling and evaluation process. Main conclusions of achievements include generating more reliable forecasts that are critical in understanding wells performance and optimizing the productivity.

This research has led to a game-changing methodology for the global E&P industry that enables operators develop an early understanding of stimulated wells performance where such detailed knowledge is vital to optimizing exploitation economics and estimation of unconventional reserves and resource potential.

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