• Production optimization and forecasting of shale gas wells using simulation models and decline curve analysis

      Ikewun, Peter O.; Kamel, Ahmed; Hanks, Catherine; Ahmadi, Mohabbat (2012-08)
      Production data from the Eagle Ford shale (an analogue to the Shublik shale of Alaska) was compiled from three neighboring counties and analyzed using decline curve analysis (DCA) to correlate production performance with completion method (horizontal leg/stages of fracture) and length of horizontal leg. Generic simulation models were built and run using a realistic range of properties. Simulation results provided a better understanding of interplay between static properties and dynamic behavior. Results from the DCA of 24 producing wells with production histories of 9-57 months showed, for most cases, an increase in reserves with more fracture stages. However, the DCA generated different forecasts depending on which part of the data were used. This clearly indicated the need for running simulations. Simulation runs can generate more reliable production forecast of which the decline part can be used to evaluate the capability of DCA to reproduce the production profiles. A combination of simulation models and DCA was used to optimize production and forecasting. Simulation models were used to optimize production for a range of different reservoir and completion parameters. The ability for DCA to reproduce simulated results (built with similar data from the Eagle Ford) for wells with different production periods was also analyzed. This results in better and more reliable production forecasts for the Eagle Ford and other young producing shale reservoirs possessing short production history. Modeling of the complex reservoir geometry and fracture networks of these types of reservoirs would give an extensive understanding of the flow mechanics.