Improved hydraulic fracture stimulation of tight gas reservoirs using FE modelling and microseismic monitoring

Sponsors:- BP, Chevron, TOTAL, Marathon, ExxonMobil, EBN, Nexen, Noble, Repsol, BG

Improved planning of hydraulic fracture stimulation could significantly increase the profitability and ultimate recovery of gas from tight sandstone and shale formations. Our inability to model hydraulic fracture development, the accompanying stress changes that occur due to hydraulic fracture development and subsequent gas production is a significant barrier that reduces our ability to optimise drilling, stimulation and work-over programs in tight gas reservoirs. Here we propose to develop a FE-based modelling technology and microseismic methodology that will improve industry understanding of hydraulic fracturing processes. The developed software will be verified against experimental and operator supplied data. The modelling technology may then be used to enhance knowledge of the issues such as:

  1. the impact of natural fractures on hydraulic fracture growth;
  2. fracture treatments in situations where stresses from nearby wells are important;
  3. role of mechanical heterogeneity and anisotropy on fracture propagation;
  4. geophone locations to monitor hydraulic fracture treatments.

This project brings together world leading groups in the development of FE software, geomechanical and geophysical analysis whom have a strong track record of both working together and delivering timely results on large multi-disciplinary projects.

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