ABSTRACT

Time-lapse gravity is a technique sensitive to subsurface change in mass and in mass distribution. We attempted to devise a method to predict gravity effects caused by redistribution of subsurface mass induced by reservoir compaction. First, displacements and strains due to compaction were modeled using a geomechanical model. Then, 4D gravity effects were derived from the displacements and the volumetric strains computed in and around the reservoir. A sensitivity study was carried out for geomechanical parameters, such as Poisson’s ratio, as well as for geometrical parameters, such as reservoir radius and depth. Finally, changes in gravity due to compaction were compared to changes induced by reservoir fluid substitution. Given a rigid basement close below a strongly compacting reservoir, our modeling case showed that the deformation itself could give gravity changes comparable to changes caused by reservoir fluid density changes, which are the changes traditionally targeted by gravity monitoring. For a homogeneous subsurface, the compaction gave negligible gravity changes for our modeling case.

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