The project will create a simulation tool that couples geomechanical, reservoir, and fracture flow physics to allow the design of a flowback schedule to optimize fluid recovery and reduce water usage per unit of gas produced.
Reaction Engineering International (REI), Murray UT 84107
The evolution of hydraulic fracturing has enabled development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources that previously would not have been economical. The volume of water required for these operations is a major concern. Industry is actively seeking methods to reduce water usage and increase the amount of gas recovered per unit of water used to stimulate the formation. There is substantial evidence that the rate and method of flowback of the fracturing fluid has a significant impact on the amount of water recovered and well productivity.
The objective of this project was to develop a multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and an accompanying reduced order model (ROM) tool to predict flowback of the fracturing fluid from a well over time. The ROM tool is designed to use a database of CFD solutions to provide quick estimates of the flowback rate and the potential impact on future gas production.
The completed ROM tool will allow field operators and fracturing service companies to (a) optimize the flowback rate and recovery of the fracturing fluid (primarily water) before stimulating a well and (b) history match real flowback data with the model to better understand the geometry properties of the produced fractures. This will result in less water usage per fracturing job, higher recovery rates of water from the well, higher initial production rates and higher ultimate recovery of the resource. This will allow the United States to continue to lead in natural gas production while lowering the amount of water used.
Project has been completed and a final technical report was submitted for review. REI will conduct their final presentation in early December 2015.