Effect of fracture characteristics on behavior of fractured shale-oil reservoirs by cyclic gas injection

T. Wan, J. J. Sheng, M. Y. Soliman, Y. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The current technique to produce shale oil is to use horizontal wells with multistage stimulation. However, the primary oil-recovery factor is only a few percent. The low oil recovery and abundance of shale reservoirs provide a huge potential for enhanced oil-recovery (EOR) process. Well productivity in shale oil-and-gas reservoirs primarily depends on the size of fracture network and the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) that provides highly conductive conduits to communicate the matrix with the wellbore. The fracture complexity is critical to the well-production performance, and it also provides an avenue for injected fluids to displace the trapped oil. However, the disadvantage of gasflooding in fractured reservoirs is that injected fluids may break through to production wells by means of the fracture network. Therefore, a preferred method is to use cyclic gas injection to overcome this problem. In this paper, we use a numerical-simulation approach to evaluate the EOR potential in fractured shale-oil reservoirs by cyclic gas injection. Simulation results indicate that the stimulated fracture network contributes significantly to the well productivity by means of its large contact area with the matrix, which prominently enhances the macroscopic sweep efficiency in secondary cyclic gas injection. In our previous simulation work, the EOR potential was evaluated in hydraulic planar-traverse fractures without considering the propagation of a natural-fracture network. In this paper, we examine the effect of fracture networks on shale oilwell secondary-production performance. The impact of fracture spacing and stress-dependent fracture conductivity on the ultimate oil recovery is investigated. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that cyclic gas injection has EOR potential in shale-oil reservoirs. This paper focuses on evaluating the effect of fracture spacing, the size of the fracture network, fracture connectivity (uniform and nonuniform), and stress-dependent fracture-network conductivity on well-production performance of shale-oil reservoirs by secondary cyclic gas injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalSPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2016


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