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3D fracture network dynamics in reservoirs, faults and salt tectonic systems

Tuncay, Kağan
Park, A
Payne, D
Ortoleva, P
A unique 3D computer simulator is used to predict natural fracture network characteristics in the subsurface. The model is based on the numerical solution of rock deformation processes coupled to the myriad of other basin reaction, transport and mechanical (RTM) processes. The model integrates seismic, well log and surface geological data to arrive at a quantitative picture of the distribution of fractures, stress, petroleum and porosity, grain size and other textural information. An important component of the model is an incremental stress rheology that accounts for poroelasticity, non-linear viscosity with yield/faulting, pressure solution and fracturing. It couples mechanics to multi-phase flow and diagenesis (through their influence on effective stress and rock rheological properties, respectively). The model is fully 3D in terms of the full range of fracture orientations and the tensorial nature of stress, deformation and permeability. All rock properties (rheologic, multi-phase fluid transport, grain shape, etc.) are coevolved with the other variables. Examples illustrate the relative importance of various overpressuring mechanisms, lithology and flexure on the location and characteristics of a fracture network.