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Accounting for Fault Role in Integrated Basin Simulation: Current Expertise and Innovative Solutions

A. Arbeaumont1, J-M. Laigle1, and N. Louni2
1Beicip-Franlab, Rueil-Malmaison, France
2Beicip-Inc, Houston, TX, USA

The need to account for the role of fault when modeling deformation and fluid flow processes in sedimentary basins has been raised for long. Technologies and workflows combining restoration and kinematic modeling techniques with forward basin simulation offering an accurate control on both basin deformation and flow across but also along fault are available for several years now in 2D solutions. These are exemplified here on a 50 km long cross-section from the Faja Plegada y Corrida del Agrio, Neuquen Basin, Argentina.

Most recent innovations of technologies for developing numerical simulator associated with advance in modeling of the deformation of sedimentary basin in 3D, allow designing solution offering a significantly more realistic physics combining & coupling kinematics, geo-mechanics and fluid flow. The IFP’s new generation basin simulator, Arctem, is developed with such objectives. When compared to conventional basin simulators, Arctem’s main added value relies on its ability to (1) handle unstructured meshes made of hexahedron or tetrahedron cells (2) model fluid flow along & across fault (3) account for horizontal stresses. Preliminary results on real (Barbados accretion prism) and synthetic two and three dimensional models already show very promising capabilities.

Additional development and validation tests by industry will be conducted while Arctem is progressively released for operational use. These new capabilities will surely help overcoming current basin modeling limitations in their applicability for petroleum systems evaluation, pressure prediction, enhanced seismic imaging in sedimentary basin where lateral deformation and fault needs to be properly accounted for.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90091©2009 AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, May 3-7, 2009 - Napa, California, U.S.A.