Abstract

Although a number of studies have examined the performance of vertically fractured wells, no performance of vertically fractured wells, no analytical study has examined the effect of fracture height on transient flow behavior and production capacity. The purpose of this paper is to close this gap in the knowledge about fractured well behavior.

This paper presents an analytical study of the pressure behavior of a well producing at a constant pressure behavior of a well producing at a constant rate through one vertical fracture from an infinitely large reservoir with impermeable upper and lower boundaries. The fracture height is less than the formation thickness. The characteristics of the dimensionless wellbore pressure drop vs dimensionless time curves are examined for both uniform-flux and infinite-conductivity fractures. Two fracture locations (center and top) in the producing interval are considered. Curves also are presented for calculating the additional pressure drop that results because the fracture height is less than the formation thickness. Other parameters of interest examined here are (1) the ratio of vertical to horizontal permeability and (2) the ratio of fracture height to permeability and (2) the ratio of fracture height to formation thickness. The application of theoretical results to well test analysis also is discussed.

Introduction

Hydraulic fracturing, introduced in 1949, has provided the petroleum industry with an inexpensive provided the petroleum industry with an inexpensive way to increase the fluid production or injection capacity of wells. The success of many marginal wells can be directly attributed to hydraulic fracturing. Because of the many wells that have been hydraulically fractured, the study of the flow behavior of wells intersecting vertical, horizontal, and inclined fractures has received considerable attention. As a result of these studies, it is possible to predict and analyze pressure behavior of fractured wells and to compute production increases caused by fracture treatments.

All studies on vertical and inclined fractures cited assume that the fracture extends over the entire vertical extent of the formation. Field observations, however, indicate that in Some instances this assumption is not valid. Also, the fracture height through which fluid is actually produced may not be equal to the created fracture produced may not be equal to the created fracture height. There is no discussion in the literature of the transient pressure behavior of a reservoir producing through a well with a fracture that does producing through a well with a fracture that does not extend throughout the vertical extent of the formation.

This paper first examines the effect of fracture height on transient pressure behavior of a vertically fractured well producing at a constant rate. Second, we present information regarding production rate changes as a function of fracture height. Third, we delineate conditions under which it would be possible to recognize (by pressure analysis) that possible to recognize (by pressure analysis) that the thickness and fracture height are different.

REMARKS ABOUT THE NOMENCLATURE

In the petroleum engineering literature, the term, "a partially penetrating well," has been used to describe the situation where a well does not penetrate the entire thickness of the formation. penetrate the entire thickness of the formation. The term, "penetration ratio," has been defined as the ratio of the length of the open interval to the formation thickness. Unfortunately, this term also has been used to define the ratio of the fracture half-length to the drainage length. Among other definitions, the word "penetrate" implies "to enter or pierce; to make way into another body." In this context, using the term, "penetration ratio," to describe both situations is correct. Confusion regarding this terminology has not come up, since all studies on the pressure behavior of vertically fractured wells have assumed that the fracture extends over the entire extent of the formation.

In this study, however, we need to clarify this term, even though we are examining only the pressure behavior of vertically fractured wells in an pressure behavior of vertically fractured wells in an infinite reservoir.

SPEJ

P. 265

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