Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing is a very robust tool in terms of not only increasing production in tight reservoirs but also accelerating production from reservoirs with higher permeability and porosity. The success of a hydraulic fracturing treatment is highly correlated with control of the created fracture geometry. Control of fracture growth and geometry is challenging in formations where the boundary lithologies are not highly stressed compared to the pay zone, allowing out-of-zone migration of fractures. As several factors influence the growth and geometry of fractures, including the reservoir, wellbore, and fluid/proppant parameters, it requires a good understanding of reservoir parameters, including stress distribution along with appropriate use of corresponding wellbore components and fluid/proppant for successful and efficient results. Our objective is to outline the main differences between different fracture models along with the key parameters and their significance in fracture performance.

Fracture treatment designs involve selecting fracturing fluids, additives, proppant materials, injection rate, pump schedule, and fracture dimensions. Although hydraulic fracturing has become more important due to development of unconventional resources in tight formations, the use of fracture models before implementation of the treatment is limited, leading to undesired fractures either with limited growth or propagation out of zone. Literature lacks a study that combines the evaluation of different fracture models in an optimization process where economics is taken into account with an objective function maximizing the net present value (NPV), providing detailed information on the financial side of this technical phenomenon, too.

In this study, different numerical fracture models are used to design the fractures in a tight oil reservoir, the performance of designed fractures are analyzed to measure the success of different numerical models applied in design along with an overview of critical operational parameters together with the significance of parameters, including size, number, and location, phasing angle of perforations, fluid and proppant type, rock strength, porosity, and permeability on fracture design optimization‥

In our paper, a comprehensive literature review of previous studies on tight oil reservoirs and hydraulic fracturing provides a thorough theoretical comparison of fracture models used in oil industry along with the analysis of significance of each factor throughout the process of hydraulic fracturing tight oil reservoirs. An objective function that maximizes NPV is used in this study investigating the phenomenon not only from the physical but also the economical aspects of fracturing that is still an expensive but an effective way of production enhancement technique when applied wisely.

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