This paper advances a practical tool for production forecasting, using a 2-segment Decline Curve Analysis (DCA) method, based on an analytical flow-cell model for multi-stage fractured shale wells. The flow-cell model uses a type well and can forecast the production rate and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of newly planned wells, accounting for changes in completion design (fracture spacing, height, half-length), total well length, and well spacing. The basic equations for the flow-cell model have been derived in two earlier papers, the first one dedicated to well forecasts with fracture down-spacing, the second one to well performance forecasts when inter-well spacing changes (and for wells drilled at different times, to account for parent-child well interaction). The present paper provides a practical workflow, introduces correction parameters to account for acreage quality and fracture treatment quality. Further adjustments to the flow-cell model based 2-segment DCA method are made after history matching field data and numerical reservoir simulations, which indicate that terminal decline is not exponential (b
= 0) but hyperbolic (with 0 < b
< 1). The timing for the onset of boundary dominated flow was also better constrained, using inputs from a reservoir simulator. The new 2-segment DCA method is applied to real field data from the Eagle Ford Formation. Among the major insights of our analyses are: (1) fracture down-spacing does not increase the long-term EUR, and (2) fracture down-spacing of real wells does not result in the rate increases predicted by either the flow-cell model based 2-segment DCA (or its matching reservoir simulations) with the assumed perfect fractures in the down-spaced well models. Our conclusion is that real wells with down-spaced fracture clusters, involving up to 5000 perforations, are unlikely to develop successful hydraulic fractures from each cluster. The fracture treatment quality factor (TQF) or failure rate (1-TQF) can be estimated by comparing the actual well performance with the well forecast based on the ideal well model (albeit flow-cell model or reservoir model, both history-matched on the type curve).
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