Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Committee Chair

Kashy Aminian


Shale gas in the United States went from a practically invisible resource to massive reserves that challenge the largest conventional gas accumulations in the world. Shale gas success is directly the result of economically managed deployment of petroleum technology, namely horizontal wells .Horizontal drilling and multi-stage stimulation technologies are driving the successful development of shale plays.;The production performance of hydraulically fractured horizontal wells in naturally fractured ultra-low permeability shale formations is not well established since the interaction among the hydraulic fractures, natural fracture system, and the shale matrix leads to a complex production mechanism that has not been fully investigated. Modeling and simulation of shale gas reservoir is challenging due to the complex nature of the reservoir, the strong heterogeneous and anisotropic characteristics of the system, different reservoir behavior, multiple gas-storage mechanisms and unique attributes that control the production.;The objective of this study was to understand the impact of hydraulic fracture on the flow behavior of the horizontal wells completed in ultralow permeability shale formations such as Marcellus Shale. A synthetic numerical model was developed using a commercial reservoir simulator (Eclipse) with different realizations to identify the impact of number of hydraulic fractures and gas desorption on the flow regime. Diagnostic plots were used to identify the flow regimes. The diagnostic plots were also used to investigate the impact of hydraulic fractures and shale characteristics on the duration of the flow periods. The most dominant flow regimes included the "Early Linear Flow" and "Compounded Linear Flow." The detail investigation of the flow regimes revealed that as the number of hydraulic fracture increased, the duration of the "Early Linear Flow" became longer while the duration of the "Compounded Linear Flow" became shorter. Furthermore as the fracture half-length was reduced, the "Early Linear Flow" became shorter and the "Compounded Linear Flow became longer. Also as the fissure permeability increased, the linear flow diminished.