Abstract

Fracture prediction in subsurface reservoirs is critical for exploration through exploitation of hydrocarbons. Methods of predicting fractures commonly neglect to include the stratigraphic architecture as part of the prediction or characterization process. This omission is a critical mistake. We have documented a complex heterogeneous fracture development within the eolian Tensleep Sandstone in Wyoming, which arguably is one of the least complex reservoir facies. Fractures develop at four scales of observation: lamina-bound, facies-bound, sequence-bound, and throughgoing fractures that span the formation. We documented a detailed facies and fracture-intensity model using LIDAR-scanned outcrops located at the Alcova anticline in central Wyoming. Through this characterization, we reveal the existence of a striking variability in fracture intensity caused by original depositional architecture, overall structural deformation, and diagenetic alteration of the host rock.

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