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Stimulation rationale for shale gas wells: a state-of-the-art report

Despite the large quantities of gas contained in the Devonian Shales, only a small percentage can be produced commercially by current production methods. This limited production derives both from the unique reservoir properties of the Devonian Shales and the lack of stimulation technologies specifically designed for a shale reservoir. Since October 1978 Science Applications, Inc. has been conducting a review and evaluation of various shale well stimulation techniques with the objective of defining a rationale for selecting certain treatments given certain reservoir conditions. Although this review and evaluation is ongoing and much more data will be required before a definitive rationale can be presented, the studies to date do allow for many preliminary observations and recommendations. For the hydraulic type treatments the use of low-residual-fluid treatments is highly recommended. The excellent shale well production which is frequently observed with only moderate wellbore enlargement treatments indicates that attempts to extend fractures to greater distances with massive hydraulic treatments are not warranted. Immediate research efforts should be concentrated upon limiting production damage by fracturing fluids retained in the formation, and upon improving proppant transport and placement so as to maximize fracture conductivity. Recent laboratory, numerical modeling and field studies all indicate that the gas fracturing effects of explosive/propellant type treatments are the predominate production enhancement mechanism and that these effects can be controlled and optimized with properly designed charges. Future research efforts should be focused upon the understanding, prediction and control of wellbore fracturing with tailored-pulse-loading charges.

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Last Updated October 23, 2014, 15:37 (EST)
Created October 23, 2014, 15:34 (EST)
Citation Young, C., Barbour, T., & Blanton, T.L. (1980). Stimulation rationale for shale gas wells: a state-of-the-art report. doi:10.2172/5124632
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Publication Date 1980-12-1