Reducing fracture/well spacing and increasing hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment size are popular strategies for increasing hydrocarbon recovery from multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs). However, these strategies can also increase the chance of fracture interference, which not only can negatively impact the overall production, but also introduce complexities for production data analysis. To analyze the production data from two communicating wells, a semi-analytical model is developed and applied to a field case.
The new semi-analytical model uses the dynamic drainage area (DDA) concept and assumes that the reservoir consists of two regions: a primary hydraulic fracture (PHF) and an adjacent enhanced fracture region (EFR) or non-stimulated region (NSR) in the reservoir. Assuming a well pair primarily communicates through PHFs, the equations for two communicating wells are coupled and solved simultaneously to model the fluid transfer between the wells. This method is used within a history matching framework to estimate the degree of communication between the wells by matching the production data.
The model is first verified against more rigorous numerical simulation for a range of fracture/reservoir properties. These comparisons demonstrate that there is excellent agreement between the reservoir simulation results and the new semi-analytical model.
The semi-analytical model is then employed to history match production data from six MFHWs (drilled from two adjacent well pads) exhibiting different degrees of communication. First, only strong communication between pairs of wells (intra-pair communication) is considered. Then sink/source terms are added to account for intermediate degrees of communication between well pairs (inter-pair communication). Addition of the source/sink terms improves the history-matching quality of the three well pairs, while total material balance of the entire section is honored.
A flexible, yet simple, semi-analytical model is developed for the first time that can accurately model the communication between multiple well pairs. This approach can be used by reservoir engineers to analyze the production data from communicating MFHWs.