Abstract

From stress history, predictions may be made as to when in the burial cycle to expect fracture (joint) formation, what type of fractures (extension or shear) may occur, and which geologic factors are most favorable to development of fractures. A stress history is computed for strata of the naturally fractured Altamont oil field in Utah's Uinta Basin. Calculations suggest that fractures formed in extension, that the well-cemented rocks are those most likely to be fractured, that fractures began to develop only after strata were buried to great depth, and that the fracture system continued to develop as strata were uplifted and denuded of overburden. Geologic evidence on fracture genesis and development is in accord with the stress history prediction. Useful in evaluating a sedimentary basin for naturally fractured reservoir exploration plays.--Modified journal abstract.

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