A Novel Integrated Approach to Modelling of Depletion-Induced Change in Full Permeability Tensor of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs

Document Type: Research Paper


Imam Khomeini International University, Ghazvin, Iran


More than half of all hydrocarbon reservoirs are Naturally Fractured Reservoirs (NFRs), in which production forecasting is a complicated function of fluid flow in a fracture-matrix system. Modelling of fluid flow in NFRs is challenging due to formation heterogeneity and anisotropy. Stress sensitivity and depletion effect on already-complex reservoir permeability add to the sophistication. Horizontal permeability anisotropy and stress sensitivity are often ignored or inaccurately taken into account when simulating fluid flow in NFRs. The aim of this paper is to present an integrated approach for evaluating the dynamic and true anisotropic nature of permeability in naturally fractured reservoirs. Among other features, this approach considers the effect of reservoir depletion on reservoir permeability tensor, allowing more realistic production forecasts. In this approach the NFR is discretized into grids for which an analytical model yields full permeability tensors. Then, fluid flow is modelled using the finite-element method to obtain pore-pressure distribution within the reservoir. Next, another analytical model evaluates the change in the aperture of individual fractures as a function of effective stress and rock mechanical properties. The permeability tensor of each grid is then updated based on the apertures obtained for the current time step. The integrated model proceeds according to the next prescribed time increments.


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