Horizontal wells in the anisotropic reservoirs can be stimulated by hydraulic fracturing in order to create multiple finite-conductivity vertical fractures. Several methods for evaluating the productivity of the horizontal wells have been presented in the literature. With such methods, however, it is still difficult to obtain an accurate result. This paper firstly presents the dimensionless conductivity theory of vertical fractures. Then models for calculating the equivalent wellbore radius and the skin factor due to flow convergence to the well bore are proposed after analyzing the steady-state flow in porous reservoirs. By applying the superposition principle to the pressure drop, a new method for evaluating the productivity of horizontal wells intercepted by multiple finite-conductivity fractures is developed. The influence of fracture conductivity and fracture half length on the horizontal well productivity is quantitatively analyzed with a synthetic case. Optimum fracture number and fracture space are further discussed in this study. The results prove that the method outlined here should be useful to design optimum fracturing of horizontal wells. © 2010 China University of Petroleum (Beijing) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
- Finite-conductivity vertical fractures
- Fractured horizontal wells
- Fracturing design optimization
- Production rate analysis