Methodologies and new user interfaces to optimize hydraulic fracturing design and evaluate fracturing performance for gas wells
This thesis presents and develops efficient and effective methodologies for optimal hydraulic fracture design and fracture performance evaluation. These methods incorporate algorithms that simultaneously optimize all of the treatment parameters while accounting for required constraints. Damage effects, such as closure stress, gel damage and non-Darcy flow, are also considered in the optimal design and evaluation algorithms. Two user-friendly program modules, which are active server page (ASP) based, were developed to implement the utility of the methodologies. Case analysis was executed to demonstrate the workflow of the two modules. Finally, to validate the results from the two modules, results were compared to those from a 3D simulation program. The main contributions of this work are: An optimal fracture design methodology called unified fracture design (UFD) is presented and damage effects are considered in the optimal design calculation. As a by-product of UFD, a fracture evaluation methodology is proposed to conduct well stimulation performance evaluation. The approach is based on calculating and comparing the actual dimensionless productivity index of fractured wells with the benchmark which has been developed for optimized production. To implement the fracture design and evaluation methods, two web ASP based user interfaces were developed; one is called Frac Design (Screening), and the other is Frac Evaluation. Both modules are built to hold the following features. o Friendly web ASP based user interface o Minimum user input o Proppant type and mesh size selection o Damage effects consideration options o Convenient on-line help.