FACTORS AFFECTING HYDRAULICALLY FRACTURED WELL PERFORMANCE IN THE MARCELLUS SHALE GAS RESERVOIRS

Open Access
Author:
Osholake, Tunde A
Graduate Program:
Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 15, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Dr Yilin Wang, Thesis Advisor
  • Yilin Wang, Thesis Advisor
  • Turgay Ertekin, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • MARCELLUS SHALE
  • FACTORS AFFECTING
Abstract:
Unconventional reservoirs such as shale, hydrates, tight sand, ultra tight sand and coal bed methane reservoirs serves as alternative sources to meet the increasing demand for energy here in the US and all over the world. The exploitation of unconventional gas reservoirs has become an integral part of the North American gas supply. The economic viability of many unconventional gas developments hinges on the effective stimulation of extremely low permeability reservoir rocks. With improve drilling and stimulation technologies, many unconventional plays have become realistic contributors to the energy budget. The Marcellus shale reservoir contains large amount of natural gas resources and its proximity to high demand markets along the East Coast of the United States makes it an attractive target for energy development. According to Arthur et al (2008), the estimated original gas in place in the Marcellus shale is 1,500 TCF (Trillion Cubic Foot) which when compared to other shale plays in the United States almost doubles the estimated gas in place associated with other shale reservoirs. So, it is crucial for exploration and production companies to invest in the Marcellus shale. Hydraulic fracturing technique is the stimulation method of choice in shale gas reservoirs. Even though hydraulic fracturing technique improves ultimate gas recovery, they are several factors that occur after hydraulic fracture treatment that impacts the production of natural gas from a hydraulically fractured shale gas well. These factors include: multi phase flow of gas and water, proppant crushing, proppant diagenesis, interaction of fracture fluid with reservoir particles, relative permeability, capillary pressure, reservoir permeability change, operational conditions, and reservoir heterogeneity among others. This research study was undertaken to quantify the impact of selected post hydraulic fracture factors that affects shale gas wells. With the use of commercial reservoir simulation software that models cumulative production and production flow rate from a vertical well located in a 160 acre Marcellus shale gas reservoir, we are able to quantify how much impact this various factors will have on the ultimate gas recovered from the reservoir under consideration. An ideal case single phase flow was simulated and was used as the base result for which simulation results of other factors was compared. The new knowledge from this research should enable engineers to better design fracture treatments and helps operators manage the wells in the Marcellus shale formation. The observation and recommendations will also be useful for further studies in this area.