The Shaikan Field is a large producing oil field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. It consists of multiple fractured reservoirs consisting of limestones, calcareous sandstones and mudstones. The surrounding tectonic terrane is situated in the seismically active Zagros–Taurus orogenic zone, where present-day stresses are high. The regional stresses are found to impose conditions that satisfy failure along reservoir-bound fractures, suggesting that a significant proportion of fractures are likely to be critically stressed. The in situ maximum principal stress magnitudes are estimated using three methods, namely, the tensile and compressive strengths of reservoir rock, and leak-off test (LOT) data. Stress-field orientations are determined from wellbore image log data, which are used to interpret wellbore breakouts and the associated induced tensile fractures. Reservoir pressure has declined since production started and poroelastic responses have been assessed and used to estimate the present-day stress-state and the criticality of those fractures that are most likely to fail or slip. Although a conventional approach has been used the present authors argue that a new approach to stress response with changing pore pressure should be taken. Unlike the previous theory of criticality in which a reduction in pore pressure is considered to lead to a stabilization of the fracture network, the present study suggests that a system may remain critically stressed regardless of pressure decline.
Thematic collection: This article is part of the The Geology of Fractured Reservoirs collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/the-geology-of-fractured-reservoirs