Abstract

The differences in oil production are examined for a simulated waterflood of faulted and unfaulted versions of synthetic shallow-marine reservoir models with a range of structural and sedimentological characteristics. Fault juxtaposition can reduce the economic value of the reservoirs by up to 30%, with the greatest losses observed in models with lower sedimentological aggradation angles and faults striking parallel to waterflood direction. Fault rock has a greater effect than fault juxtaposition on lowering the economic value of the reservoir models in the compartmentalized cases only – and only when the fault rock permeability model is based on the least permeable published laboratory data. Moderately sealing faults can increase the economic value of reservoirs except when the main flow direction is parallel to the faults. These results arise from the dependence of economic value on both sweep efficiency and production rate. Simple predictors of fault juxtaposition and fault-rock heterogeneity have been established and combined with two-dimensional considerations from streamline theory in an attempt to capture quantitatively the change in economic reservoir value arising from faults. Despite limitations associated with the three-dimensional role of juxtaposition, the results are encouraging and represent a step towards establishing a rapid transportable predictor of the effects of faults on production.

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