Evaluation of production losses from unconventional shale reservoirs

Umut Aybar, Wei Yu, Mohammad O. Eshkalak*, Kamy Sepehrnoori, Tad Patzek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Promising production trends and predictions, as well as improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies, have made unconventional reservoirs economically feasible. Although these reservoirs have high initial production rates, it is observed that their production performance declines fast. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the reasons behind the production performance reduction. With continuing production, pore pressure decreases and consequently the effective stress applying on fractures increases. This phenomenon causes the fracture closure. In this paper, both individual and combined effects of natural fracture and hydraulic fracture closures on wellperformance are investigated. We use available experimental data to represent hydraulic and natural fracture conductivity alterations with changing stress conditions. Simulation results show thatthe individual effects of hydraulic and natural fracture closure on production performance is in the range of 6%-13% and 7%-23%, respectively. Additionally, the combined effect of natural and hydraulic fracture closure is in the range of 10%-25%. It is observed that the coupled effect of natural and hydraulic fracture conductivity losses is less than the summation of the individual effects. Sensitivity analysis is also performed for certain reservoir parameters. This work can provide a betterunderstanding of the main reasons of production losses from unconventional reservoir simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Coupled hydraulic and natural fracture's conductivity loss
  • Gas production performance
  • Unconventional shale gas reservoirs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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