For modern multi-well, multi-stage hydraulic fracturing operations, reservoir heterogeneity and stress shadow effects strongly affect fracture geometries. The laminas can act as weak interfaces confining the hydraulic fracture height growth and becoming potential fracture propagation path. We developed a numerical simulator using Finite-Discrete Element Method (FDEM) to simulate the complex fracture propagation in laminated shale formations. This is a 2D coupled fluid flow and geomechanics code which is capable of simulating fracture propagation in naturally fractured, laminated reservoirs. Several cases of multi-stage, multi-well fracture propagation were conducted using this simulator. Our simulation results show that for multi-stage hydraulic fracturing propagation, the fracture length along the BP is a deterministic factor affecting the neighboring fracture propagation path due to the induced stresses. Moreover, we proposed a novel multi-fracture, multi-stage fracturing design, which can create larger stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) than classical Texas two-steps technique in laminated shale formations under some specific scenarios. This paper provides a framework for more realistic prediction of fracture height and fracture evolution under multi-fracture, multi-stage schemes in laminated shale formations in hydraulic fracturing treatment.

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