Multiple hydraulic fractures have been observed in numerous field settings1-9. Direct evidence for the simultaneous growth of multiple hydraulic fractures has emerged over the last decades by coring through propped hydraulic fracture treatments in reservoirs; mineback experiments; intersection of multiple fracture (planes) through offset wells; multi-planar fracture propagation observed in micro-seismic fracture mapping and tiltmeter fracture mapping; and laboratory experiments showing complex fracture growth. The simultaneous growth of multiple hydraulic fractures beyond the near-wellbore area is therefore probably more the rule than the exception, especially when fracturing from a large perforated interval or in naturally fractured formations.
A comprehensive and consistent approach to approximately quantify and model multiple hydraulic fractures growth using observed fracture pressure feedback has provided significant insight into the mechanism of multiple fracture growth. A simplified concept of “equivalent” (equal sized) multiple fractures “competing” for fracture opening and leakoff has been used to approximate this complex phenomenon. This concept is very useful for quick, real-time fracture treatment analysis, and modeling results have also been calibrated by direct fracture diagnostic technologies to limit potential modeling solutions within reasonable bounds.
Author(s): L. Weijers, C.A. Wright, Pinnacle Technologies; H. Sugiyama, Teikoku Oil Company; K. Sato, U. of Tokyo; L. Zhigang, North China Bureau of Petroleum
Paper Number: SPE 64772