In this work we present the current status of production evaluation and prediction for shale gas reservoirs. We focus primarily on the effect of wellbore geometry (vertical vs. horizontal) and fracture stimulation, and consider only relatively simple shale reservoir characteristics. Theoretical production responses from hydraulically-fractured vertical and horizontal wells are first described. Analytical and empirical methods for production data analysis and forecasting of shale reservoirs are then described and demonstrated. The empirical approach used is the recently developed "power-law exponential" rate relation [Ilk, et al (2008b and 2008b)] in addition to the more traditional "hyperbolic" rate relation [Johnson and Bollens (1927)], Arps (1945)]. The analytical methods utilized include production type-curves developed for vertical wells completed in single-porosity, single-phase reservoirs. Finally, numerical approaches for forecasting complex, multifractured horizontal wells are also presented. Two approaches for simulating these complex wells, one simple and the other more rigorous, are provided. In the more rigorous approach, the "compound linear flow regime" concept introduced by van Kruysdijk and Dullaert (1989) is verified.
The production analysis methods are applied to field and simulated cases to demonstrate their accuracy and practicality. The empirical power-law exponential method, when applied to both simulated and field cases, is shown to be a reliable method for forecasting shale wells. The analytical (type-curve) methods developed for vertical wells can be useful for analyzing vertical shale wells; when applied to horizontal wells, the resulting estimates of reservoir and fracture properties may be inaccurate. A special case of analysis of a 2-phase shale reservoir is also presented; in this case, the analytical tools developed recently for 2-phase CBM reservoirs [Clarkson, et al (2008)], including 2-phase flowing material balance and type-curves, prove useful.