Optimized Cluster Design in Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation

Randolph R. Settgast, Ghazal Izadi, Robert S. Hurt, Hyunil Jo, Scott M. Johnson, Stuart D. C. Walsh, Daniel Moos, Fredrick Ryerson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


Design decisions for the layout and properties of perforation clusters in a hydraulic fracture stimulation job are typically based on idealizations that treat the fractures originating from each cluster identically. However, simulations of multi-clustered hydraulic fracturing stages have shown that some perforation clusters may be rendered ineffective due to an increase in confining stresses (i.e. stress shadow) induced by hydraulic fractures originating from neighboring clusters. Two methods to counteract the effects the inter-cluster hydraulic fracture interaction are using non-uniform cluster spacing, and varying the frictional properties of the perforation clusters themselves as investigated in [1], [2].

In this work, the authors present a method for the evaluation of the effects that cluster spacing and frictional properties of perforation clusters have on the propagation of hydraulic fractures during a stimulation stage. This approach is done through the application of the hydraulic fracture simulation capabilities of the GEOS simulation framework, developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. GEOS provides a hybrid Finite Element Method/Finite Volume Method that fully couples the mechanics of rock deformation, the flow of fluid through the crack, and fluid flow through the rock matrix. This capability allows for the development of a method for the optimal design of hydraulic fracture stimulation staging that relies on basic engineering principles. For a given set of site properties, multiple simulations are performed with variations in cluster spacing, cluster configuration, fluid properties, and pumping pressure/rate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnconventional Resources Technology Conference
Subtitle of host publication20-22 July, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventUnconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC 2015) - San Antonio, United States of America
Duration: 20 Jul 201522 Jul 2015


ConferenceUnconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC 2015)
Abbreviated titleURTeC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CitySan Antonio

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