Optimization of Placement of Hydraulic Fracture Stages in Horizontal Wells Drilled in Shale Gas Reservoirs Conference Paper uri icon


  • Copyright 2013, Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) Unconventional plays such as tight gas and shale gas reservoirs have potential of becoming the main source of cleaner energy in the 21th century. Development of unconventional fields requires engineered hydraulic fracturing that facilitates access to larger volumes of the reservoir rock and delivers more hydrocarbon to the production wells. While hydraulic fracturing technology has advanced considerably in application of materials, equipment, and procedures in the last thirty years, design of fracture systems still primarily relies on heuristic judgment of geoscience experts. This study closes the existing gap in computational tools and explores advantages of numerical optimization techniques in automatic design of hydraulic fracture systems. In this work we implement and analyze several optimization algorithms that allow obtaining nearly optimal solutions with reasonable computational time, achieving short- and long-term production goals of unconventional projects, and improving their revenue. In particular, we solve the problem of hydraulic fracture placement with the gradient-based finite difference method (FD), discrete simultaneous perturbation stochastic approximation (DSPSA), and genetic algorithm (GA). Although all presented algorithms approach global optimal solutions for selected test cases, our numerical experiments indicate higher efficiency of DSPSA and GA. We illustrate our findings with a suit of simulation runs based on synthetic field data.

name of conference

  • Unconventional Resources Technology Conference

published proceedings

  • Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, 12-14 August 2013

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, X., Plaksina, T., & Gildin, E.