James Crafton is the founder of Performance Sciences in Colorado. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a PhD degree in petroleum engineering from The University of Tulsa. Crafton developed the reciprocal productivity index technique, a practical method for the evaluation of producing shale, oil, gas, and coalbed methane wells. Crafton is chair emeritus of the Distinguished Lecturer Committee and was named a Distinguished Member in 2008. He holds several patents.
“Hydraulic Fracture Complexity: Insights From Geology, Modeling, and Physical Experiments”
The shale gas revolution, ushered in through the Barnett shale development in Texas, demonstrated the potential of multifracture horizontal wells. A close companion with hydraulic fracture placement technology was fracture diagnostic technology. The ideas around hydraulic fracture complexity exploded with the widespread application of microseismic monitoring.
This talk will use natural fracture examples and create complex fracture geometries using numerical fracture propagation modeling and scaled laboratory experiments. Evidence of stress shadow effects is illustrated for natural fractures, and the consequent effect in hydraulic fractures is demonstrated through modeling.
Cemented natural fractures are proposed as primary pre-existing flaws with which hydraulic fractures might interact, and the factors influencing this interaction are illustrated. Scaled laboratory experiments simulating hydraulic fracturing in naturally fractured reservoirs illustrate the range of fracture interaction geometries that might occur in the subsurface.
Lessons learned from this integrated approach to fracture complexity characterization can help guide well planning, geologic data collection, and hydraulic fracture optimization efforts.