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Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1665: Shale Reservoir Drainage Visualized for a Wolfcamp Well (Midland Basin, West Texas, USA)

Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1665: Shale Reservoir Drainage Visualized for a Wolfcamp Well (Midland Basin, West Texas, USA)

Energies doi: 10.3390/en11071665

Authors: Ruud Weijermars Arnaud van Harmelen

Closed-form solution-methods were applied to visualize the flow near hydraulic fractures at high resolution. The results reveal that most fluid moves into the tips of the fractures. Stranded oil may occur between the fractures in stagnant flow zones (dead zones), which remain outside the drainage reach of the hydraulic main fractures, over the economic life of the typical well (30–40 years). Highly conductive micro-cracks would further improve recovery factors. The visualization of flow near hypothetical micro-cracks normal to the main fractures in a Wolfcamp well shows such micro-cracks support the recovery of hydrocarbons from deeper in the matrix, but still leave matrix portions un-drained with the concurrent fracture spacing of 60 ft (~18 m). Our study also suggests that the traditional way of studying reservoir depletion by mainly looking at pressure plots should, for hydraulically fractured shale reservoirs, be complemented with high resolution plots of the drainage pattern based on time integration of the velocity field.

Authors:   Weijermars, Ruud ; van Harmelen, Arnaud
Journal:   Energies
Volume:   11
edition:   7
Year:   2018
Pages:   1665
DOI:   10.3390/en11071665
Publication date:   26-Jun-2018
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