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Development of Reservoir Characterization Techniques and Production Models for Exploiting Naturally Fractured Reservoirs

Description: This report focuses on integrating geoscience and engineering data to develop a consistent characterization of the naturally fractured reservoirs. During this reporting period, effort was focused on relating seismic data to reservoir properties of naturally fractured reservoirs, scaling well log data to generate interwell descriptors of these reservoirs, enhancing and debugging a naturally fractured reservoir simulator, and developing a horizontal wellbore model for use in the simulator.
Date: March 28, 2001
Creator: Wiggins, M.L.; Evans, R.D.; Brown, R.L. & Gupta, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Characterization of Fractured Reservoirs in Carbonate Rocks: The Michigan Basin

Description: The main objective of this project is for a university-industry consortium to develop a comprehensive model for fracture carbonate reservoirs based on the ''data cube'' concept using the Michigan Basin as a prototype. This project combined traditional historical data with 2D and 3D seismic data as well as data from modern logging tools in a novel way to produce a new methodology for characterizing fractured reservoirs in carbonate rocks. Advanced visualization software was used to fuse the data and to image it on a variety of scales, ranging from basin-scale to well-scales.
Date: October 24, 2000
Creator: Wood, James R. & Harrison, William B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of Efficiency Improvements During CO2 Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs

Description: The objective of this project was to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in less efficient CO2 flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. This report provided results of the second semi-annual technical progress report that consists of three different topics.
Date: March 10, 2003
Creator: Schechter, David S. & Vance, Harold
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aligned vertical fractures, HTI reservoir symmetry, and Thomsenseismic anisotropy parameters

Description: The Sayers and Kachanov (1991) crack-influence parametersare shown to be directly related to Thomsen (1986) weak-anisotropyseismic parameters for fractured reservoirs when the crack density issmall enough. These results are then applied to seismic wave propagationin reservoirs having HTI symmetry due to aligned vertical fractures. Theapproach suggests a method of inverting for fracture density from wavespeed data.
Date: June 27, 2007
Creator: Berryman, James G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A physically based numerical approach for modeling fracture-matrix interaction in fractured reservoirs

Description: Modeling fracture-matrix interaction within a multiple-phase flow system is a key issue for fractured reservoir simulation. Commonly used mathematical models for dealing with such interactions employ dual- or multiple-continuum concepts, in which fractures and matrix are represented as overlapping, different, but interconnected continua, described by parallel sets of conservation equations. The conventional single-point upstream weighting scheme is most commonly used to estimate flow mobility for fracture-matrix flow. However, such a scheme may have serious limitations or flaws, which lead to unphysical solutions or significant numerical errors. To overcome the limitations of the conventional upstream weighting scheme, this paper presents a physically based modeling approach for estimating physically correct relative permeability in calculating multiphase flow between fractures and the matrix, using continuity of capillary pressure at the fracture-matrix interface. The proposed approach has been implemented into two multiphase reservoir simulators and verified using analytical solutions and laboratory experimental data. The new method is demonstrated to be accurate, numerically efficient, and easy to implement in dual- or multiple-continuum reservoir simulators.
Date: May 4, 2004
Creator: Wu, Yu-Shu & Pruess, Karsten
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An example of using oil-production induced microseismicity in characterizing a naturally fractured reservoir

Description: Microseismic monitoring was conducted using downhole geophone tools deployed in the Seventy-Six oil field, Clinton County, Kentucky. Over a 7-month monitoring period, 3237 microearthquakes were detected during primary oil production; no injection operations were conducted. Gross changes in production rate correlate with microearthquake event rate with event rate lagging production-rate changes by about 2 weeks. Hypocenters and first-motion data have revealed low-angle, thrust fracture zones above and below the currently drained depth interval. Production history, well logs and drill tests indicate the seismically-active fractures are previously drained intervals that have subsequently recovered to hydrostatic pressure via brine invasion. The microseismic data have revealed, for the first time, the importance of the low-angle fractures in the storage and production of oil in the study area. The seismic behavior is consistent with poroelastic models that predict slight increases in compressive stress above and below currently drained volumes.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Rutledge, J.T.; Phillips, W.S.; Schuessler, B.K. & Anderson, D.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Permeability reduction by pyrobitumen, mineralization, and stress along large natural fractures in sandstones at 18,300 ft. depth: Destruction of a reservoir

Description: Production of gas from the Frontier Formation at 18,300 R depth in the Frewen No. 4 Deep well, eastern Green River basin (Wyoming), was uneconomic despite the presence of numerous open natural fractures. Initial production tested at 500 MCFD, but dropped from 360 MCFD to 140 MCFD during a 10-day production test, and the well was abandoned. Examination of the fractures in the core suggests several probable reasons for this poor production. One factor is the presence of a hydrocarbon residue (carbon) which filled much of the porosity left in the smaller fractures after mineralization. An equally important factor is probably the reorientation of the in situ horizontal compressive stress to a trend normal to the main fractures, and which now acts to close fracture apertures rapidly during reservoir drawdown. This data set has unpleasant implications for the search for similar, deep fractured reservoirs.
Date: November 1, 1996
Creator: Lorenz, J.C.; Billingsley, R.L. & Evans, L.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fracture characterization and discrimination criteria for karst and tectonic fractures in the Ellenburger Group, West Texas: Implications for reservoir and exploration models

Description: In the Ellenburger Group fractured dolomite reservoirs of West Texas, it is extremely difficult to distinguish between multiple phases of karst-related fracturing, modifications to the karst system during burial, and overprinting tectonic fractures. From the analyses of drill core, the authors developed criteria to distinguish between karst and tectonic fractures. In addition, they have applied these criteria within the context of a detailed diagenetic cement history that allows them to further refine the fracture genesis and chronology. In these analyses, the authors evaluated the relationships between fracture intensity, morphologic attributes, host lithology, fracture cement, and oil-staining. From this analysis, they have been able to characterize variations in Ellenburger tectonic fracture intensity by separating these fractures from karst-related features. In general, the majority of fracturing in the Ellenburger is caused by karst-related fracturing although a considerable percentage is caused by tectonism. These findings underscore the importance of considering the complete geologic evolution of a karst reservoir during exploration and field development programs. The authors have been able to more precisely define the spatial significance of the fracture data sets by use of oriented core from Andector Field. They have also demonstrated the importance of these results for exploration and reservoir development programs in West Texas, and the potential to extrapolate these results around the globe. Given the historic interest in the large hydrocarbon reserves in West Texas carbonate reservoirs, results of this study will have tremendous implications for exploration and production strategies targeting vuggy, fractured carbonate systems not only in West Texas, but throughout the globe.
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Hoak, T.E.; Sundberg, K.R.; Deyhim, P. & Ortoleva, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Research program on fractured petroleum reservoirs. [Quarterly report], October 1--December 31, 1995

Description: A number of experiments have been performed to study water injection in fractured porous media. These experiments reveal that: (1) the co-current imbibition may be the primary flow process in water-wet fractured media, and (2) the imbibition may result in over 20 percent recovery from very tight rock (Austin Chalk with K{sub ma} of the order of 0.01 md) for an imbibition period of about 2 months. Theoretical consideration reveal that the exponential function of Aronofsky et al. [``A Model for the Mechanism of Oil Recovery from Porous Matrix Due to Water Invasion In Fractured Reservoirs,`` Trans. AIME (1958) 213, 17-19] does not describe the early-time, but may represent the late-time recovery.
Date: January 31, 1996
Creator: Firoozabadi, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reservoir fracture mapping using microearthquakes: Austin chalk, Giddings field, TX and 76 field, Clinton Co., KY

Description: Patterns of microearthquakes detected downhole defined fracture orientation and extent in the Austin chalk, Giddings field, TX and the 76 field, Clinton Co., KY. We collected over 480 and 770 microearthquakes during hydraulic stimulation at two sites in the Austin chalk, and over 3200 during primary production in Clinton Co. Data were of high enough quality that 20%, 31% and 53% of the events could be located, respectively. Reflected waves constrained microearthquakes to the stimulated depths at the base of the Austin chalk. In plan view, microearthquakes defined elongate fracture zones extending from the stimulation wells parallel to the regional fracture trend. However, widths of the stimulated zones differed by a factor of five between the two Austin chalk sites, indicating a large difference in the population of ancillary fractures. Post-stimulation production was much higher from the wider zone. At Clinton Co., microearthquakes defined low-angle, reverse-fault fracture zones above and below a producing zone. Associations with depleted production intervals indicated the mapped fractures had been previously drained. Drilling showed that the fractures currently contain brine. The seismic behavior was consistent with poroelastic models that predicted slight increases in compressive stress above and below the drained volume.
Date: November 1, 1996
Creator: Phillips, W.S.; Rutledge, J.T.; Gardner, T.L.; Fairbanks, T.D.; Miller, M.E. & Schuessler, B.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tracer Tests in a Fractured Dolomite: 2. Controls on Mass-Recovery Rates for a Single-Porosity, Heterogeneous Conceptualization

Description: A single-well injection-withdrawal (SWIW) test is evaluated as a tool to differentiate between single- and double-porosity conceptualizations of a system. Results from single-porosity simulations incorporating plume drift are also compared to observed data from a recent series of SWIW tests conducted in a fractured dolomite unit, for which a double-porosity conceptualization has been proposed. We evaluate the difficulty of differentiating the response for a double-porosity conceptualization from that for a heterogeneous, single-porosity conceptualization incorporating plume drift. Results of sensitivity studies on multiple, stochastically generated, heterogeneous transmissivity fields indicate that to simulate extremely slow mass-recovery rates for a SWIW test with a single-porosity conceptualization, the following conditions must be present: plume drift, extreme heterogeneities (high {sigma}InT), and an unusual configuration of the high and low transmissivity regions relative to the well location. A compilation of existing data suggests that the high degree of heterogeneity necessary is rare at the SWIW test scale.The observed data from the SWIW tracer tests cannot be matched to numerical simulation results when a single-porosity conceptualization is assumed. A signature of significant drift is less than 100% mass recovery with a zero derivative with respect to time of the late-time normalized cumulative mass curve indicating mass transported outside the capture zone of the withdrawal well. To minimize the risk of misinterpretation, an important design feature for SWIW tests is the collection of late-time data so that percent total mass recovery can be calculated.
Date: March 4, 1999
Creator: Altman, S.J.; Meigs, L.C. & Jones, T.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Naturally fractured reservoirs: Optimized E and P strategies using a reaction-transport-mechanical simulator in an integrated approach. Summary of project accomplishments; Final report, September 30, 1998

Description: Major accomplishments of this project occurred in three primary categories: (1) fractured reservoir location and characteristics prediction for exploration and production planning; (2) implications of geologic data analysis and synthesis for exploration and development programs; and (3) fractured reservoir production modeling. The results in each category will be discussed in turn. Seven detailed reports have been processed separately.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Ortoleva, P.J.; Sundberg, K.R. & Hoak, T.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Discriminating effects of heterogeneity and matrix diffusion by alternative tracer designs

Description: Flow and transport calculations are carried out by numerical simulation for different tracer designs: single-well radially diverging/converging (huff-puff), single well radially converging, and two-well injection-withdrawal (doublet) in a 2D fracture zone. The fractured rocks are conceptualized as a dual-continuum: the well-connected fractures forming a heterogeneous continuum for advective transport, and the less permeable matrix forming a second continuum for tracer diffusion. Results show that the huff-puff design can be a good diagnostic test for matrix diffusion. The two-well doublet design averages over a large volume and corrects for the extreme sensitivity to spatial heterogeneities of the single well converging test, but requires prior knowledge of presence or absence of matrix diffusion to give reliable estimate of transport parameters. Results of this study demonstrate that using a suite of different tracer designs is important to reduce the uncertainty in association with solving the inverse problem of tracer test interpretation to characterize transport in fractured rocks.
Date: March 1, 1995
Creator: Tsang, Y.Y.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Characterization of Fractured Reservoirs in Carbonate Rocks: The Michigan Basin

Description: The main objective of this project is for a university-industry consortium to develop a comprehensive model for fracture carbonate reservoirs based on the ''data cube'' concept using the Michigan Basin as a prototype. This project combined traditional historical data with 2D and 3D seismic data as well as data from modern logging tools in a novel way to produce a new methodology for characterizing fractured reservoirs in carbonate rocks. Advanced visualization software was used to fuse the data and to image it on a variety of scales, ranging from basin-scale to well-scales.
Date: January 22, 2001
Creator: Wood, J.R. & Harrison, W.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Semi-Analytical Solution for Steady Infiltration in Unsaturated Fractured Rock

Description: A semi-analytical solution is developed for one-dimensional steady infiltration in unsaturated fractured rock. The differential form of the mass conservation equation is integrated to yield an analytical expression relating elevation to a function of capillary pressure and relative permeability of the fracture and rock matrix. Constitutive relationships for unsaturated flow in this analysis are taken from van Genuchten [1980] and Mualem [1976], but alternative relations can also be implemented in the integral solution. Expressions are presented for the liquid saturations and pore velocities in the fracture, matrix, and effective continuum materials as a function of capillary pressure and elevation. Results of the analytical solution are applied to examples of infiltration in fractured rock consisting of both homogeneous and composite (layered) domains. The analytical results are also compared to numerical simulations to demonstrate the use of the analytical solution as a benchmarking tool to address computational issues such as grid refinement.
Date: December 19, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tectonic Setting and Characteristics of Natural Fractures in Mesaverde and Dakota Reservoirs of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico and Colorado

Description: A set of vertical extension fractures, striking N-S to NNE-SSW but with local variations, is present in both the outcrop and subsurface in both Mesaverde and Dakota sandstones. Additional sets of conjugate shear fractures have been recognized in outcrops of Dakota strata and may be present in the subsurface. However, the deformation bands prevalent locally in outcrops in parts of the basin as yet have no documented subsurface equivalent. The immature Mesaverde sandstones typically contain relatively long, irregular extension fractures, whereas the quartzitic Dakota sandstones contain short, sub-parallel, closely spaced, extension fractures, and locally conjugate shear planes as well. Outcrops typically display secondary cross fractures which are rare in the subsurface, although oblique fractures associated with local structures such as the Hogback monocline may be present in similar subsurface structures. Spacings of the bed-normal extension fractures are approximately equal to or less than the thicknesses of the beds in which they formed, in both outcrop and subsurface. Fracture intensities increase in association with faults, where there is a gradation from intense fracturing into fault breccia. Bioturbation and minimal cementation locally inhibited fracture development in both formations, and the vertical limits of fracture growth are typically at bedding/lithology contrasts. Fracture mineralizations have been largely dissolved or replaced in outcrops, but local examples of preserved mineralization show that the quartz and calcite common to subsurface fractures were originally present in outcrop fractures. North-south trending compressive stresses created by southward indentation of the San Juan dome area (where Precambrian rocks are exposed at an elevation of 14,000 ft) and northward indentation of the Zuni uplift, controlled Laramide-age fracturing. Contemporaneous right-lateral transpressive wrench motion due to northeastward translation of the basin was both concentrated at the basin margins (Nacimiento uplift and Hogback monocline on east and west edges respectively) and distributed across the strata ...
Date: January 1, 2001
Creator: Lorenz, John C. & Cooper, Scott P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interpreting Fracture Patterns in Sandstones Interbedded with Ductile Strata at the Salt Valley Anticline, Arches National Park, Utah

Description: Sandstones that overlie or that are interbedded with evaporitic or other ductile strata commonly contain numerous localized domains of fractures, each covering an area of a few square miles. Fractures within the Entrada Sandstone at the Salt Valley Anticline are associated with salt mobility within the underlying Paradox Formation. The fracture relationships observed at Salt Valley (along with examples from Paleozoic strata at the southern edge of the Holbrook basin in northeastern Arizona, and sandstones of the Frontier Formation along the western edge of the Green River basin in southwestern Wyoming), show that although each fracture domain may contain consistently oriented fractures, the orientations and patterns of the fractures vary considerably from domain to domain. Most of the fracture patterns in the brittle sandstones are related to local stresses created by subtle, irregular flexures resulting from mobility of the associated, interbedded ductile strata (halite or shale). Sequential episodes of evaporite dissolution and/or mobility in different directions can result in multiple, superimposed fracture sets in the associated sandstones. Multiple sets of superimposed fractures create reservoir-quality fracture interconnectivity within restricted localities of a formation. However, it is difficult to predict the orientations and characteristics of this type of fracturing in the subsurface. This is primarily because the orientations and characteristics of these fractures typically have little relationship to the regional tectonic stresses that might be used to predict fracture characteristics prior to drilling. Nevertheless, the high probability of numerous, intersecting fractures in such settings attests to the importance of determining fracture orientations in these types of fractured reservoirs.
Date: December 1, 2001
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced reservoir characterization and evaluation of CO{sub 2} gravity drainage in the naturally fractured Spraberry Trend Area. Quarterly technical report

Description: The overall goal of this project is to assess the economic feasibility of CO{sub 2} flooding the naturally fractured Spraberry Trend Area in West Texas. This objective is being accomplished by conducting research in four areas: (1) extensive characterization of the reservoirs, (2) experimental studies of crude oil/brine/rock (COBR) interaction in the reservoirs, (3) analytical and numerical simulation of Spraberry reservoirs, and, (4) experimental investigations on CO{sub 2} gravity drainage in Spraberry whole cores. This report provides results of the fourth quarter of 1997 in the fourth area.
Date: July 7, 1998
Creator: Schechter, David S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Over 270 single-hole (Guzman et al., 1996) and 44 cross-hole pneumatic injection tests (Illman et al., 1998; Illman, 1999) have been conducted at the Apache Leap Research Site (ALRS) near Superior, Arizona. They have shown that the pneumatic pressure behavior of fractured tuff at the site is amenable to analysis by methods which treat the rock as a continuum on scales ranging from meters to tens of meters, and that this continuum is representative primarily of interconnected fractures. Both the single-hole and cross-hole test results are free of skin effect. Single-hole tests have yielded estimates of air permeability at various locations throughout the tested rock volume, on a nominal support scale of about 1 m. The corresponding log permeability data exhibit spatial behavior characteristic of a random fractal and yield a kriged estimate of how these 1-m scale log permeabilities vary in three-dimensional space (Chen et al., 2000). Cross-hole tests have been analyzed by means of a three-dimensional inverse model (Vesselinov et al., 2000) in two ways: (a) by interpreting pressure records from individual borehole monitoring intervals, one at a time, while treating the rock as if it was spatially uniform; and (b) by using the inverse model to interpret pressure records from multiple tests and borehole monitoring intervals simultaneously, while treating the rock as a random fractal characterized by a power variogram. The first approach has yielded equivalent air permeabilities and air-filled porosities for a rock volume characterized by a length-scale of several tens of meters. Comparable results have been obtained by means of type-curves (Illman and Neuman, 2001). The second approach amounts to three-dimensional pneumatic tomography, or stochastic imaging, of the rock. It has yielded a high-resolution geostatistical estimate of how air permeability and air-filled porosity, defined over grid blocks having a length-scale of 1 m, vary throughout ...
Date: January 1, 2001
Creator: VESSELINOV, V. & AL, ET
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compartmentalization analysis using discrete fracture network models

Description: This paper illustrates how Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) technology can serve as a basis for the calculation of reservoir engineering parameters for the development of fractured reservoirs. It describes the development of quantitative techniques for defining the geometry and volume of structurally controlled compartments. These techniques are based on a combination of stochastic geometry, computational geometry, and graph theory. The parameters addressed are compartment size, matrix block size and tributary drainage volume. The concept of DFN models is explained and methodologies to compute these parameters are demonstrated.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: La Pointe, P.R.; Eiben, T.; Dershowitz, W. & Wadleigh, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fractured petroleum reservoirs

Description: Total compressibility in a fractured reservoir is estimated using the pressure response due to gravitational potential variations. Both the moon and the sun gravitational potentials are accounted for using the full expression by inclusion of longer-period components. The semi-diurnal and diurnal pressure data show substantial long-term variations. The gravitational potential also contains the same variation trend; the ratio between the potential and pressure has a fairly uniform value over successive cycles. The computed total compressibility is also fairly constant and independent of the cycle. Results show the effects of the time interval over which the pressure measurements are performed as well as the location.
Date: January 10, 2000
Creator: Firoozabadi, A.; Chang, E. & Tang, G.Q.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department