Benchmarking EUR estimates for hydraulically fractured wells with and without fracture hits using various DCA methods Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2017 Elsevier B.V. Various decline curve analysis (DCA) methods can be applied to forecast the production performance of hydrocarbon wells, including horizontal wells stimulated with hydraulic fracturing. Yet, which method is more preferable remains in doubt. The objective of this study is to evaluate various DCA methods by history matching and hindcasting both synthetic and field production data in order to assess for each method the reliability of production forecasts and the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR). Five DCA methods have been evaluated because of their computational simplicity and broad application. These methods are the Modified Hyperbolic Decline model (MHD), Duong model, Logistic Growth Analysis Model (LGM), and the Power Law Exponential (PLE, with D∞=0 and D∞=∞) Decline models. Each method was evaluated using three data sets: synthetic shale oil production rates based on a CMG reservoir model using Eagle Ford reservoir characteristics, data from producing Eagle Ford wells and from Austin Chalk wells. The hindcast method was applied to the Eagle Ford synthetic wells to establish the EUR deviation between the synthetic reservoir model production forecast and the various DCA methods. The weighted residuals of history matched production rates for Eagle Ford indicate that the MHD and Duong models give the lowest matching errors (as low as 1.32%) and the highest EUR estimations (as high as 3,447,609 stb). The PLE model (with D∞≠0) gives the most conservative EUR estimation, and also the least reliable history matching method (on our Eagle Ford data sets), which therefore is the least preferable DCA method. For the Austin Chalk wells in our study, all methods generate fairly similar EUR predictions with similar matching errors (from 13% to 15%) so that the DCA method preference becomes indifferent. This study also touches upon the relationship between DCA results when well interference occurs due to various hydraulic fracture hits. Shale wells that primarily contain hydraulic fractures and few natural fractures (Eagle Ford) give the most reliable forecasts using the MHD and Duong DCA methods. However, wells in the Austin Chalk, a naturally fractured reservoir, show little difference between the forecast accuracy from the various DCA methods.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hu, Y., Weijermars, R., Zuo, L., & Yu, W.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Hu, Yuqi||Weijermars, Ruud||Zuo, Lihua||Yu, Wei

publication date

  • March 2018