Fracture Modeling and Flow Behavior in Shale Gas Reservoirs Using Discrete Fracture Networks
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Fluid flow process in fractured reservoirs is controlled primarily by the connectivity of fractures. The presence of fractures in these reservoirs significantly affects the mechanism of fluid flow. They have led to problems in the reservoir which results in early water breakthroughs, reduced tertiary recovery efficiency due to channeling of injected gas or fluids, dynamic calculations of recoverable hydrocarbons that are much less than static mass balance ones due to reservoir compartmentalization, and dramatic production changes due to changes in reservoir pressure as fractures close down as conduits. These often lead to reduced ultimate recoveries or higher production costs. Generally, modeling flow behavior and mass transport in fractured porous media is done using the dual-continuum concept in which fracture and matrix are modeled as two separate kinds of continua occupying the same control volume (element) in space. This type of numerical model cannot reproduce many commonly observed types of fractured reservoir behavior since they do not explicitly model the geometry of discrete fractures, solution features, and bedding that control flow pathway geometry. This inaccurate model of discrete feature connectivity results in inaccurate flow predictions in areas of the reservoir where there is not good well control. Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) model has been developed to aid is solving some of these problems experienced by using the dual continuum models. The Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) approach involves analysis and modeling which explicitly incorporates the geometry and properties of discrete features as a central component controlling flow and transport. DFN are stochastic models of fracture architecture that incorporate statistical scaling rules derived from analysis of fracture length, height, spacing, orientation, and aperture. This study is focused on developing a methodology for application of DFN to a shale gas reservoir and the practical application of DFN simulator (FracGen and NFflow) for fracture modeling of a shale gas reservoir and also studies the interaction of the different fracture properties on reservoir response. The most important results of the study are that a uniform fracture network distribution and fracture aperture produces the highest cumulative gas production for the different fracture networks and fracture/well properties considered.
Ogbechie, Joachim Nwabunwanne (2011). Fracture Modeling and Flow Behavior in Shale Gas Reservoirs Using Discrete Fracture Networks. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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