Multiple hydraulic fractures interference due to induced stress is considered in the framework of approximate analytical model. The induced stress structure is generalized for the case of fractures of arbitrary length and height which allows to describe stress evolution in the process of fracture growth. Two main regimes of hydraulic fracture growth are considered: isotropic (circular) growth and limited-height (Perkins-Kern-Nordgren) regime. Major control parameters for each of them have been found, capturing dependence on pumping rate, spacing and cumulative injected volume as well as mechanical properties of the reservoir. For isotropic growth the fracture interference can be avoided by sufficiently low pumping rate and /or sufficiently large spacing whereas for limited-height growth certain limitation of total volume of pumped fluid is needed. The concept of "compact" and "diffuse" pattern of hydraulic fracturing is introduced which corresponds to weak and strong fracture interference respectively. The identified control parameters provide recommendation for optimal hydraulic fracturing design.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.