Analysis of Fracturing Pressure Data in Heterogeneous Shale Formations




Soliman, M.Y.
Wigwe, M.
Alzahabi, A.
Pirayesh, E.
Stegent, N.

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hydraulic Fracturing Journal


Existing techniques for the interpretation of real-time fracturing data assumes that fracture propagation is a continuous power function of time, and that fractures propagate smoothly over time. This assumption implies that the formation is homogeneous. However, this assumption is not always accurate, as heterogeneities such as natural fractures exist, especially in shale. The presence of natural fractures is a vital factor in the productivity of shale oil and gas formations. When a hydraulic fracture intercepts a natural fracture, we believe one of two situations may take place depending on stress field, net pressure, orientation and the type of natural fracture: • The hydraulic fracture may cross the natural fracture and essentially continue to propagate, thus a smooth fracture propagation would be reflected in the real-time pressure data. • The natural fracture may dilate, allowing the fracturing fluid to enter the natural fracture. In this case, the propagation of the hydraulic fracture will cease in favor of the dilation of the natural fracture. Once the natural fracture is sufficiently dilated, the hydraulic fracture will resume propagation from the tip of the natural fracture(s). This paper presents a new real-time analysis technique of fracture propagation data that accounts for this intermittent hydraulic propagation in shale formations. This technique is an expansion of the existing technique originally developed by Nolte and Smith (1981). A few examples from shale formations are also presented, in which a horizontal well was fractured using a multi-stage fracturing technique. The analyzed data clearly shows the opening and dilation of the natural fractures



Fracturing Pressure Data, Interpretation of real-time fracturing data


Soliman, Mohamed & Wigwe, Marshal & Alzahabi, Ahmed & Pirayesh, Elias & Stegent, neil. (2014). Analysis of Fracturing Pressure Data in Heterogeneous Shale Formations. Volume 1 Number 2, Hydraulic Fracturing Journal.