Integrated 3D geomechanical modelling for deep subsurface deformation: a case study of tectonic and human-induced deformation in the eastern Netherlands
J. D. Van Wees, B. Orlic, R. Van Eijs, W. Zijl, P. Jongerius, G. J. Schreppers, M. Hendriks, T. Cornu, 2003. "Integrated 3D geomechanical modelling for deep subsurface deformation: a case study of tectonic and human-induced deformation in the eastern Netherlands", New Insights into Structural Interpretation and Modelling, D. A. Nieuwland
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Current advances in finite element computer codes and increase in computer power theoretically allow quantitative modelling of the geomechanical effects of hydrocarbon depletion from reservoirs. Here we show that it is technically possible to incorporate the full complexity of the 3D geological structure of a reservoir including faults into geomechanical models. In the workflow GOCAD is used for the structural modelling, integrated with DIANA for the geomechanical calculations.
A case study on the Roswinkel gas field in the eastern Netherlands illustrates the working methodology. The case study clearly shows the strong dependency of gas depletion deformation effects on the prevailing tectonic stress field. Our models for gas depletion predict a stabilization of the stress field (further away from failure) for reservoirs in compressive and strike-slip regimes. On the other hand extensional stress regimes will result in failure of the reservoir, in agreement with observed earthquakes, provided that (a) the reservoir material or existing faults are weak and (b) the state of stress is close to failure of the material.
The Roswinkel field, which is marked by a high abundance of earthquakes occurring after gas depletion started, is therefore most likely marked by an extensional tectonic regime and by geomechanically weak rock or pre-existing faults. According to base Tertiary fault displacements and the World Stress Map, the extension (minimum horizontal principal stress) is most likely NE—SW oriented.
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New Insights into Structural Interpretation and Modelling
This title has arisen from the Geological Society of London conference of the same name. Since the publication of the predecessor of this book (‘Modern insights into structural interpretation, validation and modelling’, SP99, 1996, edited by Buchanan & Nieuwland) much progress has been made. This has been primarily thanks to the continuously increasing computing speed and computer memory capacity, which has positively affected all fields in structural interpretation, seismics and modelling, directly or indirectly.
‘New insights in structural interpretation and modelling’, presents a balanced overview of what the title promises. It is intended as a book that will serve the experienced professional as well as more advanced students in earth sciences, with a broad selection of topics ranging from classical field based studies to state of the art analogue and numerical modeling. The leaders of their fields have written some of the chapters, whereas younger authors with a fresh outlook and new ideas have written other chapters.