Fracture Propagation Analysis and Evaluation in Presence of Natural Fractures in Tight Gas Reservoirs

  • Shaikhah A. Al Mteiri

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study deals with propagation behavior of induced hydraulic fractures in naturally fractured formations within heterogeneous Middle Eastern tight gas reservoirs. This can strongly support the development and design process of highly heterogeneous reservoirs globally. Hydraulic fracturing is a stimulation process, most practically applicable in tight and unconventional reservoirs. A local sensitivity analysis was conducted for a Middle East candidate reservoir by varying fracture design parameters to investigate the fracture propagation behavior. After a comprehensive evaluation, a discrete fracture network-based simulator was used to introduce multiple sets of natural fractures into the model to further analyze their interactions. Furthermore, wellbore placement analysis was conducted to effectively augment the development and exploitation of these reservoirs It is observed that production in tight reservoirs is governed by the presence of natural fractures and their distribution. This investigation demonstrates the assessment methods of hydraulic fracture propagation behavior and its correlated effects in the presence of natural fractures. Further assessment in terms of varying fracture geometry, natural fracture sets, wellbore placement and its effect on the conductivity are also presented. The introduced natural fracture sets further illustrate the significance of the natural fracture properties in this assessment. Additionally, variations in well placement demonstrate how effective the treatment can be in the presence of complex natural fracture sets when properly located. An investigation was conducted to create a representative model for a Middle Eastern tight gas formation with provided field data. The study is unique as it is one of its kind based on field data within the Middle East region and offers an insight to the potential concerns that may assist future fracturing operations within the region. The outcomes from this research validates the significance of natural fractures orientation and its subsequent effect on the final hydraulic fracture geometry and network. Additionally, it further highlights the criticality of well placement and design strategies during hydraulicfracturing treatment design. Results describe how a minor modification with respect to the well placement can significantly affect hydraulic fracturing operations and subsequently the productivity and feasibility.
    Date of AwardJul 2020
    Original languageAmerican English


    • Fracture Characterization; Simulation; Tight Gas; Stress; Hydraulic Fracturing.

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