Slick-water fracturing has become the common hydraulic fracturing technique for shale plays. There is a thought that fracture conductivity is not important in shale plays, and one design applies to different property of shale plays. Many publications pointed out the improved fracture conductivity increases well production of tight reservoirs.
The objective of this study is to present a workflow for determining the optimum fracture conductivity requirements for shale/tight gas plays with different characteristics. Two hydraulic fracture models are explicitly established in a reservoir simulator, including planar fractures and a complex fracture network. The results of optimum fracture conductivity are compared and analyzed.
The simulation results show that fracture conductivity is very important in productivity of shale/tight gas plays. The optimum fracture conductivity is a function of reservoir and treatment parameters such as matrix permeability, reservoir geomechanics, natural fracture properties, hydraulic fracture length and spacing, production time, and fracture geometry.