Abstract

Understanding and predicting the impact of lithofacies changes and structural effects on fracture distributions is vitally important to optimize a drilling location and orientation. To evaluate and model fracture intensity of the Late Ordovician-Silurian-Early Devonian Hunton Group carbonates in Oklahoma, natural fractures were studied at different scales using borehole images, three outcrops (two horizontally bedded outcrops and one anticline outcrop), and seismic data. Natural fractures identified from eight horizontal well borehole images include conductive (open), partially open, mineralized (closed), and induced fractures. Four fracture sets were identified from borehole images and from the two horizontally bedded outcrops. A 3D fracture intensity model was populated, from the fracture intensity logs at the boreholes, and compared with a 3D lithofacies model. Principal component analysis from lithology logs produced input to a self-organizing map to classify and cluster electrofacies. Thin sections and borehole images corroborate the electrofacies around the wellbores, whereas 3D seismic data were used as constraints to build a 3D lithofacies model. A 3D lithofacies model resulted from the extrapolation of the lithofacies from the well scale to the regional seismic scale. In this study area, lithofacies and structure are interrelated and control fracture distributions. Lithofacies is the primary control, whereas structure is the secondary control. Three lithofacies (wackestone, mudstone, and mud-dominated wackestone) were identified. A positive relationship between the fracture intensity and the presence of wackestone was observed at well locations and in the mapped subsurface area. The other two lithofacies do not exhibit high fracture abundance. Structural effects influence fracture distributions near faults and positive curvature areas in the subsurface measured on the 3D seismic data. For the Hunton Anticline outcrop exposure, there was a positive linear relationship between fracture intensity and changes in curvature for the mudstone and mud-dominated wackestone and an exponential relationship for the wackestone textures. The integration of lithology and structure from multidisciplinary, multiscalar data (i.e., outcrops, image logs, and 3D seismic) helps to identify and predict the fractured zones in the Hunton carbonates and can be used for horizontal well planning as well as stimulation programs. More importantly, this study proposes a generic model to predict the variability of fractures at different scales of curvatures combined with lithology changes and can be used for other carbonate reservoirs.

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