ABSTRACT:

The Hydraulic Fracturing Field Test (HFTS) project, fielded within the Wolfcamp Formation in the Permian Basin, provides an excellent opportunity to further develop our understanding of the geomechanical response to hydraulic stimulation and associated fluid transport in shale lithologies. In addition to a full set of geophysical and tracer observations, the project obtained core samples from wells drilled through the stimulated region, characterizing the propagation of fractures, reactivation of pre-existing natural fractures, and placement of proppant. We present our analysis of the HFTS using the GEOS code. In this preliminary phase, we focus upon the response to stimulation of a single stage in the Middle Wolfcamp Formation. Our results emphasize the importance of accounting for preexisting natural fractures in predicting the stimulated volume. The combination of published data we assembled to construct the preliminary geological model can serve as a resource for other practitioners seeking to validate models against the HFTS observations. We also discuss future work that will address interactions between wells within the same and differing zones, along with microscale investigations into the influence of bedding upon fracture height growth.

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