The hydraulic behaviour of the fractures in a fractured carbonate reservoir is a function of fracture intensity, aperture, intrinsic permeability, length, height and orientation, all of which influence the scale of connectivity and ultimately storage, productivity and reserves. If a geologically realistic fracture model is not appropriately incorporated into upscaled fracture properties for a dynamic simulation, it may still be possible to match a short production history, but calculations of field-wide fracture pore volumes and forecasts of future reservoir development may be poor and uncertain. To accurately represent the fractures, discrete fracture network (DFN) models were built and used to constrain fracture geometries and their hydraulic properties for use in forecasting, field development options and uncertainty characterization. The workflow illustrated in this paper shows how a DFN may be validated and calibrated through the simulation of transient bottom hole pressures from individual drill stem tests and pressure interference data, followed by upscaling to a full-field dynamic simulation model. This DFN-to-simulation workflow, applicable to most conventional fractured reservoirs, successfully matched reservoir pressure history for the field as a whole and for individual wells without having to locally modify any of the upscaled fracture properties around the wells. Sensitivity analysis identified key fracture drivers having the greatest impact upon the history match, and these were combined to produce history matched Low and High Case models. Production forecasts for the Low, Base and High Cases were used to predict reserves, manage risk and optimize the field development plan.

Supplementary material: Supplementary figures are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5001203

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

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