Models of natural fracture connectivity: Implications for reservoir permeability. Annual report for DOE Basic Energy Sciences, 1990
Description: Fluid flow through fracture networks in a rock mass depends strongly on the nature of connections between fracture segments and between individual fractures. Therefore the objective of this research project is to develop three dimensional models for natural fracture connectivity using an integrated field, laboratory, and theoretical methodology. The geometric models we have developed are based on detailed field mapping and observations from outcrops of both massive and layered sedimentary rocks, typical of producing oil and gas reservoirs, or of aquifers. Furthermore, we have used computer simulations and laboratory experiments to investigate the physical mechanisms responsible for fracture connectivity (or lack thereof) as single and multiple sets of fractures evolve. The computer models are based on fracture mechanics principles and the laboratory experiments utilize layered composite materials analogous to sedimentary sequences. By identifying the physical mechanisms of connectivity we can relate the degree of connectivity to the geometry, state of stress, and material properties of the reservoir rocks and, in turn, be in a position to evaluate the influence of these factors on fracture permeability.
Date: June 1, 1995
Creator: Pollard, D.D. & Aydin, A.
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