Geomechanics and Fractured Reservoirs: Comforting, Confusing, or Scary?

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 Read 5127 times
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Fractured reservoirs often exhibit interaction between production and effective permeability. Simple rules used to explain this relationship are based on assumptions that are physically impossible. Moving beyond this limitation requires a change of mind-set.

By using simulation models and realistic conditions, where fractured rock masses and their contained fluids are suitably represented, the way in which coupled systems interact can be understood, leading to realistic upscaled responses. Many real-world fractured reservoirs may have fracture distributions and flow conditions that never raise any major surprises. However, in other parts of those reservoirs, confusing responses may appear because of the nonlinear geomechanics/fluid interactions, and some examples may demonstate seemingly unreasonable behaviors.

About the Author

Gary Couples is a professor of geomechanics at Heriot-Watt University's Institute of Petroleum Engineering, where he links geomechanical processes to their consequences. His research and teaching activities range from the pore scale to the reservoir scale and larger with an emphasis on predicting effective flow and other emergent phenomena.

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