A Simple Physics-Based Model Predicts Oil Production from Thousands of Horizontal Wells in Shales

Tadeusz Patzek, Wardana Saputra, Wissem Kirati

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


Over the last six years, crude oil production from shales and ultra-deep GOM in the United States has accounted for most of the net increase of global oil production. Therefore, it is important to have a good predictive model of oil production and ultimate recovery in shale wells. Here we introduce a simple model of producing oil and solution gas from the horizontal hydrofractured wells. This model is consistent with the basic physics and geometry of the extraction process. We then apply our model thousands of wells in the Eagle Ford shale. Given well geometry, we obtain a one-dimensional nonlinear pressure diffusion equation that governs flow of mostly oil and solution gas. In principle, solutions of this equation depend on many parameters, but in practice and within a given oil shale, all but three can be fixed at typical values, leading to a nonlinear diffusion problem we linearize and solve exactly with a scaling
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
StatePublished - Oct 9 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the baseline and center funding at the Ali I. Al-Naimi Center for Petroleum Engineering Research (ANPERC) at the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We would like to thank Dr. Arthur Berman of Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. in Houston, Texas, for pointing out the multitudinous problems with allocation of oil well production in Texas, and working through a difficult example in DrillingInfo with Wardana and Wissem. Art visited us in November 2016.


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