Analyses of multiple pressure drops on the potential productivity of shale wells

Sheldon Gorell, Jim Browning, Justin Andrews

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Production from shales can be dependent on many things, including multiple reservoir properties, drilling, completion and production methods. Designs and analyses often focus on drilling and completion issues, such as number of stages, wellbore length and fracture properties, such as conductivity, length, spacing and complexity. As a result, many aspects of the reservoir, fractures and production methods can be significant. Flow from the reservoir to production points is driven by pressure drops. If an entire well including fractures and surrounding reservoir is considered as a single system, then the production behavior is driven by the magnitude of three pressure drops and corresponding resistances to flow in the system. Those that need to be considered are: pressure drop between the reservoir and the fractures, pressure drop along the fractures to the wellbore perforations and pressure drop along the wellbore to the pump inlet or tubing head. Different aspects of the well/fracture/reservoir system become important, or unimportant, depending on the relative magnitude of these pressure drops and resistances to flow. For example, many people believe that fractures should be as long as possible assuming they can be restricted to zones of interest and do not interfere with other wells and/or fractures. However, since the pressure along a fracture increases as you move further away from the wellbore, increasing fracture length can have diminishing returns for reservoirs with small reservoir to fracture pressure drops and/or low fracture conductivities. Similar effects pertain to number of fractures, fracture spacing and wellbore lengths. This paper analyzes effects of different reservoir, fracture and wellbore properties and the influence of different pressure drops on shale well productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Eastern Regional Meeting 2019, ERM 2019
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613996768
StatePublished - 2019
EventSPE Eastern Regional Meeting 2019, ERM 2019 - Charleston, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2019Oct 17 2019

Publication series

NameSPE Eastern Regional Meeting


ConferenceSPE Eastern Regional Meeting 2019, ERM 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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