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Incorporating rock physics in fracture characterization and modelling: A conceptual workflow from a carbonate reservoir

Abstract

Carbonate reservoirs contain a significant part of the world’s oil reserves, and most of them will contain naturally occurring fractures that will impact reservoir performance to various degrees. This paper discusses the importance of establishing an integrated workflow to address the challenges posed by naturally fractured reservoirs. Such a workflow needs to incorporate geomechanical parameters to achieve a consistent model in which fracture intensity is correlated with rock properties. Despite the presence of fractures in most of the reservoirs, the petroleum industry still faces the challenges on how to best implement them in subsurface models. Indeed, many fractured reservoirs are complex and difficult to understand, describe, and model; thus, often models are built focusing only on the matrix properties, or incorporating fractures in a simplistic way. The need for representative reservoir models in increasingly complex fractured reservoirs is the key driver behind the workflow presented in this paper.