Integration of Dynamic Microseismic Data With a True 3D Modeling of Hydraulic-Fracture Propagation in the Vaca Muerta Shale
- Mahdi Haddad (The University of Texas at Austin) | Jing Du (Total E&P) | Sandrine Vidal-Gilbert (Total E&P)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,714 - 1,738
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- hydraulic-natural fracture interaction and intersection, microseismic, pore pressure cohesive zone model, the Vaca Muerta Shale, 3D fully-coupled poroelastic-fracturing analysis
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- 572 since 2007
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Microseismic mapping during the hydraulic-fracturing processes in the Vaca Muerta (VM) Shale in Argentina shows a group of microseismic events occurring at shallower depth and at later injection time, and they clearly deviate from the growing planar hydraulic fracture. This spatial and temporal behavior of these shallow microseismic events incurs some questions regarding the nature of these events and their connectivity to the hydraulic fracture. To answer these questions, in this article, we investigate these phenomena by use of a true 3D fracture-propagation-modeling tool along with statistical analysis on the properties of microseismic events.
First, we propose a novel technique in Abaqus incorporating fracture intersections in true 3D hydraulic-fracture-propagation simulations by use of a pore-pressure cohesive zone model (CZM), which is validated by comparing our numerical results with the Khristianovic-Geertsma-de Klerk (KGD) solution (Khristianovic and Zheltov 1955; Geertsma and de Klerk 1969). The simulations fully couple slot flow in the fracture with poroelasticity in the matrix and continuum-based leakoff on the fracture walls, and honor the fracture-tip effects in quasibrittle shales. By use of this model, we quantify vertical-natural-fracture activation and fluid infiltration depending on reservoir depth, fracturing-fluid viscosity, mechanical properties of the natural-fracture cohesive layer, natural-fracture conductivity, and horizontal stress contrast. The modeling results demonstrate this natural-fracture activation in coincidence with the hydraulic-fracture-growth complexities at the intersection, such as height throttling, sharp aperture reduction after the intersection, and multibranching at various heights and directions.
Finally, we investigate the hydraulic-fracture intersection with a natural fracture in the multilayer VM Shale. We infer the natural-fracture location and orientation from the microseismic-events map and formation microimager log in a nearby vertical well, respectively. We integrate the other field information such as mechanical, geological, and operational data to provide a realistic hydraulic-fracturing simulation in the presence of a natural fracture. Our 3D fracturing simulations equipped with the new fracture-intersection model rigorously simulate the growth of a realistic hydraulic-connection path toward the natural fracture at shallower depths, which was in agreement with our microseismic observations.
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