Construction of Fractured Reservoir Models for Flow Simulation Incorporating Geology, Geophysics, and Geomechanics

Course Description

Flow models have the purpose of explaining and forecasting reservoir performance that can help plan the development and exploitation of the resource. This class explains the steps needed to build fractured reservoir models using sound stratigraphic and structural frameworks, calibrated 3D seismic attributes, and geomechanical information. Models and concepts are examined in the context of how they impact fluid flow, reservoir simulation results, field production, and forecast in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. This 2-day course presents workflows along with conceptual and spreadsheet-based exercises to solidify concepts. The course provides in-depth presentations and discussions of the models presented.

Course Objectives

  • Highlight geologic concepts that control natural fracture development in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.
  • Value characterization methods that incorporate the use of 3D seismic data for improved mapping of mechanical facies and fracture properties.
  • Discuss workflows that combine geologic and geomechanics concepts, petrophysical properties, and seismic attributes within geological models in preparation for reservoir simulation.
  • Quantify the combined effect of fracture properties and geomechanical properties in effective flow properties of simple fracture scenarios.
  • Understand the need of combining multiple disciplines and data sources to develop an adequate flow model.
  • Understand that fracture models are not platform- or software-specific, but utilize and blend all available data and relevant analogs.
  • Understand that consistently developed continuum and discrete fracture models can yield very similar results.
  • Model effective fracture permeabilities in a cell of a geologic model and understand the parameters that control such permeability.

Course Outline

Session 1

  • Natural fractured reservoirs: overview and concepts
  • Impact of natural fractures on reservoir performance: overview
  • Tight unconventional reservoirs: mechanical stratigraphy in core, well logs, and seismic
  • Tight unconventional reservoirs: use and value of outcrop analogs
  • Tight carbonate mechanical stratigraphy interpretation
  • Reservoir engineering data for of naturally fractured reservoirs

Session 2

  • Tight unconventional reservoirs: seismic properties for fracture characterization
  • Discrete vs continuum natural fracture descriptions for simulation in fractured reservoirs
  • Tight unconventional reservoirs: geomechanics review
  • Effective fracture permeability

Session 3

  • Tight unconventional reservoirs: modeling perm of reactivated fractures
  • Pressure transient response time
  • Conventional fractured reservoirs: overview and concepts
  • Conceptual integrated fault damage zone model
  • Value of outcrop analogs in fracture modeling
  • Conventional fractured reservoirs: facies, rock properties in core and well logs

Session 4

  • Conventional fractured reservoirs: rock properties from 3D seismic
  • Calibration of effective fracture permeabilities
  • Special considerations for flow simulation in fractured reservoirs
  • Putting it all together: Integration of outcrop, core, well logs, and seismic for improved reservoir models

Participants’ Profile

Due to its multidisciplinary nature, this class is designed for all levels from entry to advanced.



About the Instructors

Reinaldo J. Michelena is reservoir characterization and geophysical advisor. He has a Ph.D. in geophysics from Stanford University and a B.S. in physics from Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela). He has over 35 years of experience in research, development, and application of seismic methods to help reservoir delineation and characterization, from prototyping, programming and testing of algorithms to integrated interpretation of field data results.

Chris Zahm is a Research Geologist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 from the Colorado School of Mines as a structural geologist and has M.Sc. degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Hydrogeology and B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With more than 25 years of experience working fractured reservoir systems in both industry and academia, Chris has focused on characterizing and modeling natural fracture systems in subsurface reservoirs from around the world including onshore US, Norwegian North Sea, Indonesia, offshore Brazil, Bolivia, and the Middle East.

James Gilman provides reservoir engineering and flow simulation consultation with more than 40 years of experience. His expertise includes specialization in the area of application and development of numerical simulators for fluid flow in petroleum reservoirs. He has been involved in development of 3-phase simulators for naturally fractured reservoirs. He is actively involved consultation in the areas of reservoir engineering, reservoir simulation, naturally fractured reservoirs, and unconventional reservoirs. He has extensive training experience in these areas through Marathon, iReservoir and Nautilus.