AAPG Middle East Region, Shale Gas Evolution Symposium

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Impact of Geology and Geomechanics on Stimulated Rock Volume and Productivity in a Multi-landing Zone Development: A Case Study on the Vaca Muerta


Drilling multiple horizontal wells from a single pad has become a common approach in many shale plays in response to the economic, real estate, water management, regulations challenges the operators face while developing such plays. The challenge of optimizing the landing zones of those wells depends, in part, on the knowledge of the Stimulated Rock Volume (SRV) created during the frac jobs and the capacity to predict its evolution during production. The first part of this work presents a sensitivity study in a single-well, focusing on the key geological and geomechanical factors with ranges based on data collected from well logs and field observations. These include characteristics of the natural fracture network, facies, laminations, variations on petroelastic properties and principal stresses, and anisotropy. The impact of these parameters upon the geometry of the SRV and well productivity is presented using pseudo-3D fracture model and fluid flow simulation coupling technology. Once the key parameters affecting SRV geometry and productivity are determined, the second part of this presentation shows the results of multi realization (multiple scenarios and well landings) on green and brown field stimulations. Analysis of the SRV geometry under undepleted and depleted conditions suggests that the stress change associated to production does impact the overall SRV generation. The presented work went beyond ordinary investigation of SRV creation driving properties: it helped to better understand the uncertainty related to these properties and ultimately depicted the static and dynamic impact on production in order to guide the optimization of well placement on the Vaca Muerta development.