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Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis

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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.

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

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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. 

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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.

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

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Outcrops of the Cretaceous high-porosity sandstone of the Southeast Basin, France, show two main types of deformation structures: a large number of small-offset, shear-enhanced cataclastic deformation bands (DBs); and a small number of large (meters to decameters)-offset ultracataclastic fault zones. Microstructural analyses of the cataclastic DBs show that fragmentation produces strands of cataclastic fragment-supported matrix, separated by weakly fractured host rock, which cluster to form the DBs. The ultracataclastic fault zones, however, are composed of a matrix-supported ultracataclasite material. Permeability data show that the DBs reduce host-rock permeability by 0.5 to 2 orders of magnitude, whereas the ultracataclasites reduce permeability by approximately 4 orders. Simple calculations considering the structural frequency, thickness, and permeability of these faults suggest that, although the DBs may have an impact on single-phase flow, it is most likely to be less than a 50% reduction in flow rate in extensional contexts, but it may be more severe in the most extreme cases of structural density in tectonic shortening contexts. The larger ultracataclastic faults, however, despite their much lower frequency, will have a more significant reduction in flow rate, probably of approximately 90 to 95%. Hence, although they are commonly at or below the limit of seismic resolution, the detection and/or prediction of such ultracataclastic faults is likely to be more important for single-phase flow problems than DBs (although important two-phase questions remain). The study also suggests that it is inappropriate to use the petrophysical properties of core-scale DB structures as analogs to larger seismic-scale faults.
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The American Association of Petroleum Geologists sponsored a Hedberg Research Conference on Enhanced Geothermal Systems in Napa, California, March 18 to 23, 2011. The workshop was attended by 67 participants from 10 different countries: United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway.
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Microseismic technology is crucial these days for understanding reservoirs and planning development programs.

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In-Person Training
Calgary Alberta Canada 17 June, 2016 17 June, 2016 23776 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ACE-2016-SC-04-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Member, Short Courses, Conventions, Pre-Convention, Geophysics, Structure, Compressional Systems, Structural Analysis (Other), Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
17 June 2016

Depending on the geological history and structural framework, the spatial distribution of natural fractures may be inhomogeneous and erratic. Statistical approaches involving the extrapolation of limited direct observations often fail to encapsulate the variability within these sub-surface fracture systems. Understanding of the relationship between the shape or strain history of a surface and observed fractures provides predictive strength in areas with limited direct observations.

Casper Wyoming United States 22 August, 2016 26 August, 2016 24361 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Casper-Fracture-School.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Geophysics, Engineering, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis, Clastics, Carbonates, Seismic, Reservoir Characterization, Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs
Casper, Wyoming, United States
22-26 August 2016

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn all the aspects related to the understanding and modeling of fractured reservoirs. Attendees will take geologic concepts and use them in reservoir modeling through hands-on sessions devoted to the examination of outcrop, core and log data. They will use that information and a software to create 3D fractured reservoir models. Using actual Teapot Dome (Wyoming, USA) field data from the Tensleep and Niobrara Shale formations and a hands-on approach, the workshop allows the geoscientist to identify fractures and to construct predictive 3D fracture models that can be used to identify productive zones, plan wells and to create fracture porosity and permeability models for reservoir simulation.

Great Falls Montana United States 12 September, 2016 17 September, 2016 150 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Fractures-Folds-and-Faults-in-Thrusted-Terrains.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis, Structural Analysis (Other), Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Geophysics, Seismic, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Development and Operations, Engineering, Directional Drilling, Oil Shale
Great Falls, Montana, United States
12-17 September 2016
The seminar will utilize traverses to examine multiple thrust sheets exposed in Sun River Canyon, the famous Teton Anticline, and an outstanding example of an exposed fractured reservoir along a fault‐propagated fold in Mississippian carbonates as Swift Reservoir. Participants will examine the mechanics of fracturing, folding, and faulting in thrust belt terrains, identify and discuss new ideas regarding the geometry and kinematics of the development of thrust belts, compare seismic interpretation with outcrop examples, and analyze stratigraphic concepts which are essential in the exploration of thrust belt targets.
Online Training
30 October, 2014 30 October, 2014 11390 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/sc-kerogen-maturity-determinations.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

10 May, 2012 10 May, 2012 1486 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-genetic-sequences-in-eagle-ford-austin.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

12 July, 2012 12 July, 2012 1490 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-shale-wells-making-the-engineering-fit-what-geology-offers.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

04 October, 2012 04 October, 2012 1491 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-microseismic-imaging-of-hydraulic-fractures.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

16 February, 2012 16 February, 2012 1483 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-seismically-driven-characterization-of-unconventional-shale-plays.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

07 June, 2012 07 June, 2012 1488 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-new-production-in-oil-fields.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

20 January, 2012 20 January, 2012 1482 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-eagle-ford-shale-prospecting-with-3d-seismic-data.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

09 February, 2012 09 February, 2012 1477 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-seismic-reservoir-characterization-of-us-shales.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-application-of-inversion-and-clustering-analysis.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

15 March, 2012 15 March, 2012 1484 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-exploring-the-geopressure-risk-in-deep-water-frontier-plays.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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.

25 August, 2011 25 August, 2011 1475 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-overview-of-hydraulic-fracturing-mechanics-analysis-and-design.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-basic-tools-for-shale-exploration.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-bakken-petroleum-system-of-the-williston-basin.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-evaluating-mature-fields.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-all-shale-gas-reservoirs-are-not-the-same.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-marcellus-utica-in-the-field.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-mapping-natural-fractures-using-3d-seismic-and-well-data.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-integrating-discipline-data-and-workflows-in-resource-play.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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