This paper focuses on the development of a technique for the determination of actual fracture length of a hydraulic fracture. Existing hydraulic fracture simulation software may make predictions of fracture length in shale reservoir without considering the volume of natural fractures, which has to fill up before propagation continues. The technique discussed here is limited to shale reservoirs but could be applied to conventional reservoirs with natural fractures. The moving reference point (MRP) technique is used in the analysis of the first three stages of a fracture treatment. With the aid of a fracture length-time plot generated from a hydraulic fracture simulator that matches the data, the distance from the wellbore to the natural fractures, which also translates to the actual fracture length for the stage, could be determined. An algorithm for this technique is developed. From the results obtained, natural fractures in the shale formation were identified and the length of the hydraulic fracture was determined. It can be seen that after 7 mins, the actual fracture length is about 45.72 m, (150 ft.) instead of 76.20 m (250 ft.) predicted by the simulator output.

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