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Book Chapter

Extensional Fault System Evolution and Reservoir Connectivity

By
Darrell W. Sims
Darrell W. Sims
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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Alan P. Morris
Alan P. Morris
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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David A. Ferrill
David A. Ferrill
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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Rasoul Sorkhab
Rasoul Sorkhab
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.Technology Research Center, Japan National Oil Corporation, Chiba, Japan
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

Sandbox analog modeling experiments provide new insights into the effects of fault geometry on reservoir connectivity. During progressive distributed extension, three phases of fault system evolution are apparent. In Phase I, geometrically simple faults nucleate rapidly at a large number of sites throughout the deforming region. This is followed by Phase II, in which faults link and increase in trace length. Phase III is characterized by a quasi-steady-state nucleation and linkage of faults. Reservoir connectivity has many components; here, we focus on fault-controlled connectivity, which can be viewed from two complementary perspectives: rock mass connectivity (continuity of rock between and around faults) and fault network connectivity. Which of these perspectives is adopted depends on whether faults cutting the reservoir act as barriers to flow (e.g., in highly porous sandstone reservoirs) or conduits for flow (e.g., in fractured carbonate reservoirs). We use two measures of fault-controlled connectivity: (1) a fault density measure derived from the number of intersections between faults and potential flow paths and (2) the ratio of the number of fault tips to the number of faults. Taken together, these characteristics convey both the transmissivity characteristics and the ultimate leakiness of the reservoir.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Faults, Fluid Flow, and Petroleum Traps

Rasoul Sorkhabi
Rasoul Sorkhabi
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Yoshihiro Tsuji
Yoshihiro Tsuji
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
85
ISBN electronic:
9781629810065
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

GeoRef

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