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Lisburne Formation fracture characterization and flow modeling
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Evaluation of fractured reservoirs for fluid flow and optimal well placement is often very complicated. In general, fractures enhance permeability and increase access to matrix surface, but their random aspects create difficulties for analysis and performance prediction. Each reservoir has unique aspects which require individual assessment. This study examined fracture properties in a part of the Carboniferous Lisburne Formation. Field study of outcrops yielded information on two sets of large-scale fractures (NNW and ENE orientations) from the lower Wahoo Limestone in the eastern Sadlerochit Mountains. Several statistical methods were used on these data to find appropriate models describing the megafracture properties. For NNW fracture height and ENE fracture spacing, the gamma model appears to adequately describe the distribution. NNW fracture spacing and ENE fracture height are lognormally distributed. Results of the statistical analyses were used as input for fracture set generation and modeling using "FracMan". Modeling different borehole orientations in the fractured domain revealed that horizontal wells with 60⁰ azimuth have an optimal trajectory, resulting in the maximum number and area of fracture connections. The orientation maximizing the number of fracture connections did not necessarily give the maximum area. Conductivity analysis showed that the fracture network is weakly anisotropic and above the percolation threshold. The fracture conductance is strongly dependent on the NNW fracture set; larger fractures influence fluid flow more than smaller fractures. Fracture strike and dip variability increased the system interconnectivity, but did not affect the optimal wellbore orientation. Incorporating ENE fracture termination against the NNW fractures decreased the system conductance and shifted the optimal wellbore trajectory towards the direction perpendicular to the NNW set. Reservoir engineering implications of this study include: guidelines for optimal wellbore orientations, the relative placement of injectors and producers along the bisectors between the two fracture sets, and the importance of including fracture terminations. Further work should investigate the influence of variations in fracture aperture and transmissivities, and drainage area, and extend the analysis to additional units of the Lisburne Group.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 97-100).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Karpov, Alexandre Valerievich (2001). Lisburne Formation fracture characterization and flow modeling. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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