Numerical simulation of MZF design with non-planar hydraulic fracturing from multi-lateral horizontal wells

B. Sobhaniaragh, Jon Trevelyan, W.J. Mansur, F.C. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, developments in the oil and gas industry have evolved significantly in advancing the mechanical systems technology to perform hydraulic fracturing. However, further developments will require an in-depth understanding of the impacts of fracture spacing, stress anisotropy, and reservoir characterization. In order to develop a comprehensive and robust completion design for hydraulic fracturing from multi-lateral wellbores with closely spaced fractures, it is important to consider stress shadowing effects. In this work the Cohesive Segments Method is combined with the Phantom Node Method, a combination termed CPNM. This is capable of not only simulating non-planar hydraulic fracture propagation with an unpredictable path, but also simulating the emergence of multiple cohesive cracks within a porous medium. This paper focuses on the “Modified Zipper-Frac” (MZF) design, which has been introduced to design the clusters from multi-lateral wells with the aim of increasing the fracture complexity. Validation of the numerical technique has been performed by comparing the solution for an individual hydraulic fracture with a Khristianovic-Geertsma-de Klerk (KGD) solution. In addition, a study of the development of double fractures has been conducted in the presence of stress shadowing to verify the simulation results. Taking the stress shadowing effects into account, a large number of numerical simulations are conducted using CPNM to investigate the stress anisotropy as well as the in-plane shear stress in the area between the two wells. The main contribution of this work is the detailed investigation of the effects of stress shadowing as a function of the fracture spacing on the horizontal stress contrast, direction of maximum local stress, leak-off flow rate, in-plane shear stress, and pore pressure of the formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Early online date1 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical simulation of MZF design with non-planar hydraulic fracturing from multi-lateral horizontal wells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this