(589g) Maximizing Uniformity of Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation of Horizontal Wells through Stress Shadow Balancing and Limited Entry Methods
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 5:27pm to 5:49pm
Thus motivated, here we present a numerical parametric study showing two methods for optimizing uniformity of stimulation through design of the clusters of perforation holes that are used as the entry points for fluid from the wellbore into the formation. We show that non-uniform perforation cluster locations combined with designing the entry friction associated with the perforation clusters (âlimited entryâ) can be optimized to produce the maximum surface area for an array of hydraulic fractures. Optimization is carried out using a reduced order, approximate simulator capable of carrying out an entire coupled simulation, which would normally take hours or days, in seconds to minutes on a desktop computer. Candidate designs are then tested using a fully-coupled, Planar 3D, multi-hydraulic fracture simulator that uses an Implicit Level Set Algorithm (ILSA). We find that for stages completed with 5 perforation clusters, optimizing the cluster spacing leads to over 70% increase in fracture surface area generated by the same injected volume. For uniform cluster spacing, optimal limited entry design alone is able to improve the fracture surface area by approximately 10%. When combined and optimized, improvements can approach a doubling of the fracture surface area leading to a potential for a similar order of increase in hydrocarbon recovery.