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Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis

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Field analogs allow a better characterization of fracture networks to constrain naturally fractured reservoir models. In analogs, the origin, nature, geometry, and other attributes of fracture networks can be determined and can be related to the reservoir through the geodynamic history. In this article, we aim to determine the sedimentary and diagenetic controls on fracture patterns and the genetic correlation of fracture and diagenesis with tectonic and burial history. We targeted two outcrops of Barremian carbonates located on both limbs of the Nerthe anticline (southeastern France). We analyzed fracture patterns and rock facies as well as the tectonic, diagenetic, and burial history of both sites. Fracture patterns are determined from geometric, kinematic, and diagenetic criteria based on field and lab measurements. Fracture sequences are defined based on crosscutting and abutting relationships and compared with geodynamic history and subsidence curves. This analysis shows that fractures are organized in two close-to-perpendicular joint sets (i.e., mode I). Fracture average spacing is 50 cm (20 in.). Fracture size neither depends on fracture orientation nor is controlled by bed thickness. Neither mechanical stratigraphy nor fracture stratigraphy is observed at outcrop scale. Comparing fracture sequences and subsidence curves shows that fractures existed prior to folding and formed during early burial. Consequently, the Nerthe fold induced by the Pyrenean compression did not result in any new fracture initiation on the limbs of this fold. We assume that the studied Urgonian carbonates underwent early diagenesis, which conferred early brittle properties to the host rock.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Accurate characterization of unconventional reservoirs requires an integrated, multi-faceted approach.

Explorer Geophysical Corner

Last month in this space we analyzed the relations of fracture patterns and layer curvature in clay models. This month we examine these relations in a central Oklahoma field developed by Pathfinder Exploration, Norman, Okla.

Explorer Geophysical Corner

Fracture zones can be critical to improving or creating sufficient porosity and permeability in hydrocarbon reservoirs – with strain, along with lithology and thickness being the major controls.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Think fast: A new risk-based approach to geomechanics is being used to help solve horizontal drilling problems.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Complex considerations: Mention the Bakken Formation and most people think of unlimited potential – but several dynamics have a huge impact on productivity.


Here at headquarters we are busy with final preparations for the trip to Pittsburgh for AAPG’sAnnual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) from May 19-22. 

Explorer Emphasis Article

Terry Engelder is a professor at Penn State and expert on the Devonian black shales – all of which has brought a bit of celebrity expertise to the campus and the Marcellus Shale.

A joint AAPG–Society of Petroleum Engineers–Society of Exploration Geophysicists Hedberg Research Conference was held in Saint-Cyr sur Mer, France, on July 8 to 13, 2012, to review current research and explore future research directions related to improved production from carbonate reservoirs. Eighty-seven scientists from academia and industry (split roughly equally) attended for five days. A primary objective for the conference was to explore novel connections among different disciplines (primarily within geoscience and reservoir engineering) as a way to define new research opportunities. Research areas represented included carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology, geomechanics, hydrology, reactive transport modeling, seismic imaging (including four-dimensional seismic, tomography, and seismic forward modeling), geologic modeling and forward modeling of geologic processes, petrophysics, statistical methods, numerical methods for simulation, reservoir engineering, pore-scale processes, in-situ flow experiments (e.g., x-ray computed tomography), visualization, and methods for data interaction.

What happens in the reservoir following hydrofracturing? Microseismic monitoring is providing some important answers.

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In-Person Training
Houston Texas United States 12 November, 2014 12 November, 2014 10555
Houston, Texas, United States
12 November 2014

This course is a practical approach to defining reservoir fluid and pressure related natural fracture generation and fracture property alteration in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

Houston Texas United States 13 November, 2014 13 November, 2014 10379
Houston, Texas, United States
13 November 2014

This course is an introduction to the Bakken/Three Forks resource play.

Houston Texas United States 13 November, 2014 13 November, 2014 10566
Houston, Texas, United States
13 November 2014

This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.

Oklahoma City Oklahoma United States 19 February, 2015 19 February, 2015 11378
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
19 February 2015


14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7815
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7812
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7816
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7813
Online Training
30 October, 2014 30 October, 2014 11390
30 October 2014

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs. This course discusses how the artificial kerogen maturity of organic-rich Green River shale affects the petrophysical, micro-structural, geochemical and elastic properties.

12 July, 2012 12 July, 2012 1490
12 July 2012

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

16 February, 2012 16 February, 2012 1483
16 February 2012

This presentation describes a proven workflow that uses a standard narrow azimuth 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and core data to build five key reservoir properties required for an optimal development of shale plays.

09 February, 2012 09 February, 2012 1477
9 February 2012

Projects in several shales will be discussed, including Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Montney, and Barnett, as will several seismically-detectable drivers for success including lithofacies, stress, pre-existing fractures, and pore pressure.

29 September, 2011 29 September, 2011 1478
29 September 2011

This study will focus in the combination of λρ – μρ inversion with clustering analysis techniques in order to discriminate brittle zones in the Barnett Shale.

10 May, 2012 10 May, 2012 1486
10 May 2012

Recognition and Correlation of the Eagle Ford, Austin Formations in South Texas can be enhanced with High Resolution Biostratigraphy, fossil abundance peaks and Maximum Flooding Surfaces correlated to Upper Cretaceous sequence stratigraphic cycle chart after Gradstein, 2010.

07 June, 2012 07 June, 2012 1488
7 June 2012

Unger Field, discovered in1955, has produced 8.6 million barrels of oil from a thinly (several ft) bedded, locally cherty dolomite containing vuggy and intercrystalline porosity.

15 March, 2012 15 March, 2012 1484
15 March 2012

This e-symposium presents techniques for predicting pore pressure in seals by examining case studies from the Gulf of Mexico and incorporating the relationship between rocks, fluids, stress, and pressure.

20 January, 2012 20 January, 2012 1482
20 January 2012

The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas is one of the more exciting shale plays in the United States at the current time.

04 October, 2012 04 October, 2012 1491
4 October 2012

Effective hydraulic fracture stimulation is critical for shale development, and microseismic is the only technology able to map the growth of these hydraulic fracture networks.

25 August, 2011 25 August, 2011 1475
25 August 2011

This e-symposium provides highlights of the hydraulic fracturing mechanics, analysis, and design, and is derived from a two and one-half (2-1/2) day course which is designed for drilling, completion, production engineers, engineering technicians, geologists, well-site and completion supervisors, and managers, who desire to possess a comprehensive and integral knowledge of Hydraulic Fracturing.

17 March, 2011 17 March, 2011 1470
17 March 2011

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

09 December, 2010 09 December, 2010 1466
9 December 2010

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

21 October, 2010 21 October, 2010 1464
21 October 2010

This e-symposium covers how to conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of mature fields to determine the best approach to recover remaining reserves.

22 July, 2010 22 July, 2010 1461
22 July 2010

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe geomechanics in shale reservoirs and discuss differences between plays.

03 June, 2010 03 June, 2010 1460
3 June 2010

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe faults and fractures in carbonates, black shales, and coarser clastics as they occur in the northern Appalachian Basin.

25 March, 2010 25 March, 2010 1458
25 March 2010

The presentation describes a well established fracture modeling workflow that uses a standard 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and data from one core to build predictive 3D fracture models that are validated with blind wells.

25 January, 2011 25 January, 2011 1454
25 January 2011

This esymposium takes a close look at workflows associated with resource plays, and analyzes where integration must occur between disciplines, data, and workflows at all phases of the process.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817
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