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Sandbox:Shale formation re-fracturing

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Re-fracturing of shale formations allows for recovery of natural gas once the initial recovery declines. The method is being used in mature oil fields to save the expense of drilling new wells and to extract the maximum amount of gas from previously fractured wells.



While several means of determining optimal wells for refracturing exist, numerical-stimulation methods are an excellent aide in studying well performance by analyzing the complex fracture network, matrix and initial hydraulic fractures.(Hindawi) In addition to numerical-simulation methods, exploratory data analysis, univariate, and multivariate analysis techniques, applied via statistical analysis software, can be combined with Geographic Information System (GIS) software to identify potentially predictive information that could be hidden within a data set. (IPTC 17081)


The main challenge presented with refracturing shale formations is the sheer number of wells existing in a given field. Selecting the well that will yield the most gas is not an easy task. In fact, only 15-20% of refractured wells produce additional yield.


Refracturing improves production rates and ultimate recovery and provides an economical alternative to infill drilling.


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