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Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Evaluation and Management of Fractured Reservoirs

An integrated workshop with a focus on analysis and prediction of sealing faults and natural open fracture systems, for geoscientists and engineers in oil and gas exploration and production. The workshop is focussed on application to a work environment, theory is kept to a minimum but an introduction to geo-mechanics is essential.

The course can be adapted to an introductory level or advanced level. For the advanced course basic knowledge of geomechanics is a requirement (application of Mohr circle analyses).

Basic elements of the workshop are the integrated and multidisciplinary character of geology and fracture/fault systems. Prediction is only possible if the geo-mechanics of tectonic processes is understood.

A critical examination of fracture detection tools and techniques forms an essential part of the workshop.

Exercises and case histories are integrated with lectures and in-class analogue model experiments, emphasizing the pragmatic and practical nature of the workshop. Technical aspects of data acquisition and processing are briefly discussed, but do not form part of the curriculum.

In addition to open fractures, sealing fractures and faults form also part of the course. The course is very practical and oriented towards application. Exercises based on real data and realistic examples form an important element of the course.

At the end of the course, guidelines for fractured reservoir management will be discussed. A course summary will be handed out with one page on each of the following topics: Fracture mechanics; Fracture detectio; Fracture prediction and Fractured reservoir management; basic drilling strategies; Generic fracture study workflow; Management of reservoirs with sealing faults and/or fractures

Participants are urged to bring examples of their own to serve as discussion and teaching material most relevant to the current work situation.

Day 1
  • Introduction to geomechanics and its relevance for reservoir management.
  • Tectonic styles: associated stress regimes and relevance for natural fracture systems.
  • Basic geo-mechanics: mechanical rules for rock deformation, fault and fracture geometry and kinematics.
  • Analogue model examples of tectonic styles.
    • Exercise -1: Interpretation and mechanical explanation of a classroom analogue experiment
  • Failure plane types: seal and conduit type examples from outcrop and cores.
  • Focus on fracture mechanics: How do fractures form, which fracture type can be expected in a given deformation environment, prediction of natural fracture systems, location orientation and possibly depth of open fracs.
Day 2
  • Case history -1(El Gassi Algeria): Fracture analysis of Ordovician quartzitic sandstone from regional tectonics, via local deformation to reservoir fracture patterns. First successful fracture prediction model in Algeria, leading to 500 Million bbls discovery.
    • Exercise -2: Determine mode of fracturing of a reservoir rock based on rock mechanical properties and tectonic setting.
  • Case history -2: Virtual field trip, selected outcrop examples of natural fractures, association between lithology, fracture type and fracture density.
  • Curvature analysis: theory, advantages and shortcomings.
  • Case history -3: Field examples of curvature analysis and application issues.
Day 3
  • Fractal nature of faults and fractures, application to reservoir geology.
  • Fracture detection: aperture measurements, tools and interpretation.
  • Case history -4 (Kuwait): Fracture analysis project on scales varying from regional tectonics, via local deformation style to reservoir fracture patterns.
  • Case history -4 (Yemen): Fracture prediction project for fractured granitic basement.
  • Seismic fracture detection, facts and fiction.
  • Case history -5: Example of seismic detection of natural fracture systems, pitfalls, traps and (im)possibilities.
Day 4
  • Generic geo-mechanics of active fault sealing mechanisms: clay smear mechanism, cataclasis, diagenesis.
  • Fault sealing by clay smear, case history.
    • Excersize-3: Clay smear calculation exercise.
  • Cataclasis: Case history.
  • Cataclasis: extended geo-mechanics.
    • Exercise-4: Cataclasis fault seal prediction exercise
Day 5
  • Cataclasis case history-2 (time permitting).
  • End of course test.
Learning activity mix

The course is intended for geoscientists and subsurface engineers that deal with geological problems such as complex structural geometries in relation to fractured reservoirs.

This theoretically sound, but also pragmatic course will enable participants to use the acquired skills to predict location and orientation of open and sealing fractures where software will often fail due to insufficient data volume and/or quality.

This theoretically sound, but also pragmatic course will enable participants to use the acquired skills to predict location and orientation of open and sealing fractures where software will often fail due to insufficient data volume and/or quality.

A 2-day short course version can be prepared on request

A 3-day or 5-day field trip along the coast of the Bristol Channel can be organized on request.

Applied knowledge of reservoir geology and/or reservoir engineering is needed to gain the most from this class. However, this experience may come from petroleum, groundwater, or geothermal application.

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