Ultra-low permeability shale reservoirs require a large fracture network to maximize well performance. Microseismic fracture mapping has shown that large fracture networks can be generated in many shale reservoirs. In conventional reservoirs and tight gas sands, single-plane fracture half-length and conductivity are the key drivers for stimulation performance. In shale reservoirs, where complex network structures in multiple planes are created, the concept of a single fracture half-length and conductivity are insufficient to describe stimulation performance. This is the reason for the concept of using stimulated reservoir volume as a correlation parameter for well performance. The size of the created fracture network can be approximated as the 3-D volume (Stimulated Reservoir Volume or SRV) of the microseismic event cloud. This paper briefly illustrates how the Stimulated Reservoir Volume (SRV) can be estimated from microseismic mapping data and is then related to total injected fluid volume and well performance. While the effectively producing network could be smaller by some proportion, it is assumed that created and effective network are directly related. However, SRV is not the only driver of well performance. Fracture spacing and conductivity within a given SRV are just as important and this paper illustrates how both SRV and fracture spacing for a given conductivity can affect production acceleration and ultimate recovery. The effect of fracture conductivity is discussed separately in a series of companion papers. Simulated production data is then compared with actual field results to demonstrate variability in well performance and how this concept can be used to improve completion design, and well spacing and placement strategies.

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