Technical Paper: Advanced Modeling of Interwell Fracturing Interference: An Eagle Ford Shale Oil Study - Refracturing

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 179177
Presentation Date: 2016
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This paper continues the investigation of interwell fracturing interference for an infill drilling scenario synthetic case based on Eagle Ford available public data and explores pressure and stress-sink mitigation strategies applied to the simulation cases developed in the previous publication (SPE 174902). Emphasis is given to refracturing scenarios, given the intrinsic restimulation value for depleted parent wells and the strategic importance due to the current low oil prices.

The stress and pressure depletion methodology is expanded in this paper, adding a refracturing scenario before the infill child well is stimulated. Changes in stress magnitudes and azimuths caused by new and reactivated fractures are calculated using a finite element model (FEM). After refracturing the parent well, modeling shows that stress deflection and repressurization of the originally depleted production zone will reduce subsequent fracture hits from infill wells.

The first mechanism to reduce fracture hits is the stress realignment, which promotes transverse fracture propagation from the infill well away from the parent well. The second fracture-hit-reduction mechanism is repressurization of depleted zones to hinder fracture propagation in lower-pressure zones. Prevention of fracture hits by active deflection results in an increased stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) for both the parent and child wells. Overall pad level and individual wellbore cumulative production experience a significant increase due to increased SRV. With proper reservoir and geomechanical data, this approach can be applied in a predictive manner to decrease fracture-hit risk and improve overall recovery.

This workflow represents the first comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to coupling geomechanical, complex hydraulic fracture models, and multiwell production simulation models aimed towards understanding fracture-hit reduction using refracturing. The workflow presented can be applied to study and design an optimum refracturing job to prevent potentially catastrophic fracture hits during refracturing operations.

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