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Title: Effect of advective flow in fractures and matrix diffusion on natural gas production

Although hydraulic fracturing has been used for natural gas production for the past couple of decades, there are significant uncertainties about the underlying mechanisms behind the production curves that are seen in the field. A discrete fracture network based reservoir-scale work flow is used to identify the relative effect of flow of gas in fractures and matrix diffusion on the production curve. With realistic three dimensional representations of fracture network geometry and aperture variability, simulated production decline curves qualitatively resemble observed production decline curves. The high initial peak of the production curve is controlled by advective fracture flow of free gas within the network and is sensitive to the fracture aperture variability. Matrix diffusion does not significantly affect the production decline curve in the first few years, but contributes to production after approximately 10 years. These results suggest that the initial flushing of gas-filled background fractures combined with highly heterogeneous flow paths to the production well are sufficient to explain observed initial production decline. Lastly, these results also suggest that matrix diffusion may support reduced production over longer time frames.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States