Abstract

I have developed a workflow to efficiently simulate geomechanical effects in the stimulated rock volume (SRV) by including regional geologic structures such as faults and folds as well as high-resolution-oriented mechanical stratigraphy. The motivation is that the local model used for hydraulic fracture analysis should include macroscale 3D geomechanical effects derived from regional tectonic and seismic data. A practical computational strategy is developed to link multiple 3D geomechanical models derived at different scales and their associated stress effects. I apply the workflow to a synthetic reservoir problem composed of a tectonic-scale structural framework model with three embedded mechanical stratigraphic models representing three stimulated vertical wells. I first combine regional stresses solved with 3D finite-element analysis with perturbation stresses from elastic dislocation modeling using elastic superposition concepts. I then apply the macroscale stress effects as unique boundary conditions to an embedded finite-element submodel, a mesoscale stratigraphic model representing the SRV allowing for resolution of variable stress amplification, and stress rotation in geologic sublayers. Finally, I conduct hydraulic-fracture simulations within the SRV models. The simulated hydraulic fractures are controled by the structural position and mechanical stratigraphy. Closest to the back limb of the main structural anticline, hydraulic fractures tend to be height-restricted, and in some realizations, fractures propagate horizontally. Adjacent to the fold and a fault, where differential stresses are elevated, fracture growth is the most unconstrained in height and length. Results suggest that this multiscale approach can be applied to better predict and understand behaviors related to unconventional reservoir stimulation. The workflow could easily be modified for other operational problems and geologic settings.

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