Pressure and Fluid-Flow Response to Production from Reservoirs Bounded by Faults with Relay Structures
S. K. Matthai, A. Aydin, and D. D. Pollard
Compartmentalization of hydrocarbon reservoirs by faults is a widely observed phenomenon in the North Sea and the Niger delta oil fields among others. Faults with significant throw or heave are identifiable in seismic surveys. However, toward their terminations or near relay structures, slip decreases so portions of the faults may be invisible in seismic data. Therefore, we use outcrop analogs to constrain the model geometry and permeability distributions to investigate the influence on fluid flow during production of such relay structures and the apparent terminations of faults in seismic images.
We employ field measurements of the geometry, width and permeability of fault terminations and relay structures in the Entrada Sandstone, Arches National Park, Utah, to construct fluid flow models of a fault-bounded analog reservoir. Production from wells drilled into this reservoir is simulated with a novel high-resolution finite element code. Starting with initially uniform reservoir pressure, the results of these simulations based on geologically realistic parameters, comprise pressure differentials that build up during production across seismically detectable faults with associated deformation bands and joints in the relay structure. For a typical relay structure, we explore the implications of these results for fault-seal stability and for changes in reservoir flow patterns if fa lt permeability changes during production.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California