Hydraulic Fracturing Length Optimization and its Impact on the Reservoir Performance

Document Type: Research Paper


1 National Iranian Oil Company

2 petroleum university of technology

3 National Iranian south oil company


Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most common methods of well stimulation for reservoirs with low permeability. Hydraulic fracturing increases the flow capacity, alters flow geometry, bypasses damage and improves recovery factor. The pressure of most of Iranian oil reservoirs is declined and consequently the production is reduced. It is necessary to improve the production by using new stimulation techniques, like hydraulic fracturing. In general, hydraulic fracturing treatments are used to increase the production rate, furthermore increasing recovery factor. In such cases, the fracture length is an appropriate optimization design variable against an economic criterion, e.g., the Net Present Value (NPV). This involves the balancing of incremental future revenue against the cost of operation. The production response in economic terms shows the effect of this design parameter. In this paper, a hydraulic fracturing operation has been designed by the simulator FracCADE 5.1 then its impact on production and ultimate recovery has been investigated by ECLIPSE. According to NPV, the hydraulic fracturing schedule was designed to achieve an optimum fracture half-length.
The results show that hydraulic fracturing increases oil recovery factor and production rate significantly. According to the NPV diagram, the best fracture half-length for AZ-X well is 1100 feet and for MNS-Y well is 900 feet.


Hashemi A., Shadizadeh S. R., and Zoveidavianpoor M., “A Local Computerized Multi-screening of Vast Amount of Data to Select Hydraulic Fracturing Candidates in Iranian Carbonate Oil Fields,” Int. J. Comput. Appl., 2012, 39(8), 37-45.

Fjar E., Holt R. M., Raaen A. M., Risnes R., and et al., “Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics.,” Elsevier, 53, 2008:

Matthews H. L., Schein G. W., and Malone M. R., “Stimulation of Gas Shales: They’re All the Same-Right,” in SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2007.

Fonseca E. R. and Farinas M. J., “Hydraulic Fracturing Simulation Case Study and Post Frac Analysis in the Haynesville Shale,” in SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2013.

Abdideh M. and Ahmadifar A., “Prediction of Geomechanical Modeling and Selection of Suitable Layer for Hydraulic Fracturing Operation in Oil Reservoir (South West of Iran),” European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, 2013, 17(10), 968-981.

Ardalan A., “Economic and Financial Analysis for Engineering and Project Management,” Taylor & Francis., 1999.

Heydarabadi F. R., Moghadasi J., Safian G. H., and Ashena R., “Criteria for Selecting a Candidate Well for Hydraulic Fracturing,” in Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2010.

Gudmundsson A., “Rock Fracturein Geological Processes,” Cambridge University Press, 2010:

Darvish H., Nouri-Taleghani M., Shokrollahi A., and Tatar A., “Geo-mechanical Modeling and Selection of Suitable Layer for Hydraulic Fracturing Operation in an Oil Reservoir (South West of Iran),” Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2015, 111(5), 409-420.

Marongiu-Porcu M., Economides M. J., and Holditch S. A., “Economic and Physical Optimization of Hydraulic Fracturing,” Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2013, 14, 91-107.