Multi-Site Application of the Geomechanical Approach for Natural Fracture Exploration

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In order to predict the nature and distribution of natural fracturing, Advanced Resources Inc. (ARI) incorporated concepts of rock mechanics, geologic history, and local geology into a geomechanical approach for natural fracture prediction within mildly deformed, tight (low-permeability) gas reservoirs. Under the auspices of this project, ARI utilized and refined this approach in tight gas reservoir characterization and exploratory activities in three basins: the Piceance, Wind River and the Anadarko. The primary focus of this report is the knowledge gained on natural fractural prediction along with practical applications for enhancing gas recovery and commerciality. Of importance to tight formation gas ... continued below

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Billingsley, R. L. & Kuuskraa, V. March 31, 2006.

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In order to predict the nature and distribution of natural fracturing, Advanced Resources Inc. (ARI) incorporated concepts of rock mechanics, geologic history, and local geology into a geomechanical approach for natural fracture prediction within mildly deformed, tight (low-permeability) gas reservoirs. Under the auspices of this project, ARI utilized and refined this approach in tight gas reservoir characterization and exploratory activities in three basins: the Piceance, Wind River and the Anadarko. The primary focus of this report is the knowledge gained on natural fractural prediction along with practical applications for enhancing gas recovery and commerciality. Of importance to tight formation gas production are two broad categories of natural fractures: (1) shear related natural fractures and (2) extensional (opening mode) natural fractures. While arising from different origins this natural fracture type differentiation based on morphology is sometimes inter related. Predicting fracture distribution successfully is largely a function of collecting and understanding the available relevant data in conjunction with a methodology appropriate to the fracture origin. Initially ARI envisioned the geomechanical approach to natural fracture prediction as the use of elastic rock mechanics methods to project the nature and distribution of natural fracturing within mildly deformed, tight (low permeability) gas reservoirs. Technical issues and inconsistencies during the project prompted re-evaluation of these initial assumptions. ARI's philosophy for the geomechanical tools was one of heuristic development through field site testing and iterative enhancements to make it a better tool. The technology and underlying concepts were refined considerably during the course of the project. As with any new tool, there was a substantial learning curve. Through a heuristic approach, addressing these discoveries with additional software and concepts resulted in a stronger set of geomechanical tools. Thus, the outcome of this project is a set of predictive tools with broad applicability across low permeability gas basins where natural fractures play an important role in reservoir permeability. Potential uses for these learnings and tools range from rank exploration to field-development portfolio management. Early incorporation of the permeability development concepts presented here can improve basin assessment and direct focus to the high potential areas within basins. Insight into production variability inherent in tight naturally fractured reservoirs leads to improved wellbore evaluation and reduces the incidence of premature exits from high potential plays. A significant conclusion of this project is that natural fractures, while often an important, overlooked aspect of reservoir geology, represent only one aspect of the overall reservoir fabric. A balanced perspective encompassing all aspects of reservoir geology will have the greatest impact on exploration and development in the low permeability gas setting.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: AC26-99FT40720
  • DOI: 10.2172/895495 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 895495
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883833

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • March 31, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 7, 2016, 5:54 p.m.

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Billingsley, R. L. & Kuuskraa, V. Multi-Site Application of the Geomechanical Approach for Natural Fracture Exploration, report, March 31, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883833/: accessed July 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.