Interpretation 8 (4):T1023-T1036 (2020)

To avoid steep declines in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale production, wells are fracture-stimulated to release the hydrocarbons trapped in the matrix of the formation. An accurate estimation of Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio is essential for hydraulic fracture propagation. In addition, ignoring the highly heterogeneous and anisotropic character of TMS can lead to erroneous stress values, which subsequently affect hydraulic fracture width estimates and the overall hydraulic fracturing process. We have developed an empirical 1D geomechanical model that takes into account VTI anisotropy, and it is used to characterize the elastic mechanical properties of TMS in two wells. In the analyzed formation, the vertical Poisson’s ratio is less than the horizontal Poisson’s ratio, which suggests the necessity of an alternative to the ANNIE equations. The stiffness coefficients [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] were estimated using the relationships developed from the ultrasonic core data available for the two TMS. Further, correlations between the static and dynamic properties from laboratory tests were used to improve the minimum horizontal stress calculation. We compare VTI Young’s moduli, Poisson’s ratios, and minimum horizontal stress with the isotropic solution. VTI modeling improves the estimation of the elastic mechanical properties. The isotropic solution underestimates the minimum horizontal stress in the formation. Moreover, it was shown that the 20 ft shale interval below the TMS base is characterized by a low Young’s modulus and may be a frac barrier.
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DOI 10.1190/int-2019-0269.1
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