A workflow for flow simulation in shale oil reservoirs: A case study in woodford shale

Mohammad Sharifi, Mohan Kelkar, Abdorreza Karkevandi-Talkhooncheh

Abstract view|308|times       PDF download|193|times


In recent years, with new technologies of long horizontal wells and staged hydraulic fracturing, the development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs (i.e., shale gas and shale oil) has gained significant momentum. Due to extremely low permeability, these unconventional formations cannot be produced economically without significant stimulation. In the current research, the workflow for shale reservoir history matching that can be used for other shale resources producing from either condensate or oil reservoirs is developed. Production data and well geometry data for nineteen wells were available in Woodford shale. During this work, using the available data, single well simulation models for all the individual wells were constructed and then models were tuned to match the historical data. It has been shown that the fracture half length, shear fracture distribution and the interaction between matrix and fractures should be captured. Also, the results showed that fracture half-length can be longer than 2,000 ft, but the permeability of the fracture is dependent on how far the fracture is from the well. It was found that for multiple well history matching, fracture half-length and the interaction between the wells are the most important factors. Using multiple history matched models, it was shown that multiple models with different fracture distributions could capture the historical data, but they exhibit different future predictions.

Cited as: Sharifi, M., Kelkar, M., Karkevandi-Talkhooncheh, A. A workflow for flow simulation in shale oil reservoirs: A case study in woodford shale. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2021, 5(4): 365-375, doi: 10.46690/ager.2021.04.03


Shale reservoirs, simulation, hydraulic fracturing, well interference

Full Text:



Adil, I., MoG, J. M., Harthy, B. A., et al. Unconventional gas simulation strategy and workflow. Paper SPE 172979 Presented at the SPE Middle East Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 26-28 January, 2015.

Agrawal, A., Wei, Y., Holditch, S. A. A technical and economic study of completion techniques in five emerging US gas shales: A woodford shale example. SPE Drilling & Completion, 2012, 27(1): 39-49.

Andrade, J., Civan, F., Devegowda, D., et al. Accurate simulation of shale-gas reservoirs. Paper SPE 135564 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19 September, 2010.

Blasingame, T. A. The characteristic flow behavior of low-permeability reservoir systems. Paper SPE 114168 Presented at the SPE Unconventional Reservoirs Conference, Keystone, Colorado, 10-12 February, 2008.

Center, B. P. Annual energy outlook 2020. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC, 2020.

Cipolla, C. L., Lolon, E. P., Erdle, J. C., et al. Reservoir modeling in shale-gas reservoirs. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 2010, 13(4): 638-653.

Curtis, M. E., Cardott, B. J., Sondergeld, C. H., et al. Development of organic porosity in the Woodford Shale with increasing thermal maturity. International Journal of Coal Geology, 2012, 103: 26-31.

Darishchev, A., de Nancy, E. N., Lemouzy, P., et al. On simulation of flow in tight and shale gas reservoirs. Paper SPE 163990 Presented at the SPE Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 28-30 January, 2013.

Ding, D. Y., Farah, N., Bourbiaux, B., et al. Numerical simulation of low permeability unconventional gas reservoirs. Paper SPE 167711 Presented at the SPE/EAGE European Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 25-27 February, 2014.

Feng, Q., Xu, S., Xing, X., et al. Advances and challenges in shale oil development: A critical review. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2020, 4(4): 406-418.

Fredd, C. N., McConnell, S. B., Boney, C. L., et al. Experimental study of fracture conductivity for water-fracturing and conventional fracturing applications. SPE Journal, 2001, 6(3): 288-298.

He, Y., Cheng, S., Rui, Z., et al. An improved rate-transient analysis model of multi-fractured horizontal wells with non-uniform hydraulic fracture properties. Energies, 2018, 11(2): 393.

King, G. E. Thirty years of gas shale fracturing: What have we learned? Paper SPE 133456 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19-22 September, 2010.

Luo, S., Kelkar, M. Infill-drilling potential in tight gas reservoirs. Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2013, 135(1): 013401.

Meng, M., Chen, Z., Liao, X., et al. A well-testing method for parameter evaluation of multiple fractured horizontal wells with non-uniform fractures in shale oil reservoirs. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2020, 4(2): 187-198.

Moridis, G. J., Blasingame, T. A., Freeman, C. M. Analysis of mechanisms of flow in fractured tight-gas and shale-gas reservoirs. Paper SPE 139250 Presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, Lima, Peru, 1-3 December, 2010.

Osholake, T., Yilin Wang, J., Ertekin, T. Factors affecting hydraulically fractured well performance in the Marcellus shale gas reservoirs. Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2013, 135(1): 013402.

Panja, P., Pathak, M., Deo, M. Productions of volatile oil and gas-condensate from liquid rich shales. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2019, 3(1): 29-42.

Taghavinejad, A., Sharifi, M., Heidaryan, E., et al. Flow modeling in shale gas reservoirs: A comprehensive review. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2020, 83: 103535.

Wang, M., Sherwood, N., Li, Z., et al. Shale oil occurring between salt intervals in the Dongpu Depression, Bohai Bay Basin, China. International Journal of Coal Geology, 2015, 152: 100-112.

Zanganeh, B., Ahmadi, M., Hanks, C., et al. The role of hydraulic fracture geometry and conductivity profile, un-propped zone conductivity and fracturing fluid flowback on production performance of shale oil wells. Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources, 2015, 9: 103-113.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 The Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright ©2018. All Rights Reserved