Naturally fractured reservoirs present unique and specialized challenges to hydrocarbon extraction. This book seeks to confront many of these challenges by providing an introduction to the engineering and geological character of naturally fractured reservoirs. The focus is on understanding fractures in a reservoir – how to determine whether fractures are important to hydrocarbon producibility, and if so, how to analyze the fracture system for the purpose of improved reservoir management. Topics discussed include the geological character of fracture systems, how to recognize and describe them, their effect on reservoir performance, how to distribute them in a reservoir model, and different approaches to flow simulation. A blend of engineering and geological data and tools are used to optimize our understanding of this class of reservoirs. Case histories of several naturally fractured reservoirs are presented to show that a range of strategies may be required to successfully address the complexity of this diverse class of reservoirs.
About the Authors:
Wayne Narr is a structural geologist at Chevron Energy Technology Company in San Ramon, CA, where he works on both technology development and consulting projects involving naturally fractured reservoirs. His earlier industry experience includes a variety of structural-geology interpretation work, mainly involving complexly deformed fold-thrust belts. Wayne’s previous positions at Chevron include leader of the Structural Geology Team, and exploration geologist, with focus on Colombia. Prior to this, he held both exploration and research positions at Gulf Oil Corporation. Wayne earned a Ph.D. in geology from Princeton University (1990), an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto (1978), and a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University (1976).
David S. Schechter is currently an associate professor of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M U. He also is an author and Principal Investigator for a Dept. of Energy/Natl. Petroleum Technology Class III Field Demonstration project in the naturally fractured Spraberry Trend Area, although his interests extend to all facets of characterization, reservoir engineering, and enhanced oil recovery in naturally fractured reservoirs. Previously, Schechter was a senior scientist and an adjunct professor in chemical engineering at the Petroleum Recovery Research Center at New Mexico Tech and a postdoctoral research associate and acting assistant professor at Stanford U. He holds a BS degree in chemical engineering from the U. of Texas at Austin and a PhD degree in physical chemistry from Bristol U., England.
Laird B. Thompson has spent 30 years in the oil and gas industry, most of it with Mobil Oil. He was responsible for Mobil’s R&D program on characterizing fractured reservoirs in the mid- to late 1990s. Thompson currently serves as an adjunct professor of geology at Utah State U., is continuing his research on predicting flow characteristics of faults and fractures, and consults on fractured reservoirs around the world.