Computer-based numerical simulation can be used as a tool for analysis of fracturing treatments and prediction of postfracturing well performance. The physical problem studied involves fracture mechanics, fluid flow, and heat transfer both in the fracture and in the reservoir. The numerical model predicts fracture extension, length, and width; proppant transport and settlement; fracture closure; cleanup; and postfracturing performance under different producing conditions.
The number of physical features that are customarily neglected in fracture designs have been incorporated in the present model. These include stress-sensitive reservoir properties, proper two-phase calculation of leakoff and cleanup, stress-dependent fracture permeability and temperature- and time-dependent fracturing fluid rheology.
The utility and a priori predictive capability of the model is illustrated with two examples of fracturing jobs. The first example is a marginal gas well stimulated by a medium-size gelled-water fracturing job. The second example is a massive foam fracture in the Elm worth basin. In both cases, the simulator predicted results that are in good agreement with the observed productivity.