Abstract

Fault zone properties are incorporated in production flow simulators using transmissibility multipliers. These are a function of properties of the fault zone and of the grid-blocks to which they are assigned. Consideration of the geological factors influencing the content of fault zones allows construction of high resolution, geologically driven, fault transmissibility models. Median values of fault permeability and thickness are predicted empirically from petrophysical and geometrical details of the reservoir model. A simple analytical up-scaling scheme is used to incorporate the influence of likely small-scale fault zone heterogeneity. Fine-scale numerical modelling indicates that variability in fault zone permeability and thickness should not be considered separately, and that the most diagnostic measure of flow through a heterogeneous fault is the arithmetic average of the permeability to thickness ratio. The flow segregation through heterogeneous faults predicted analytically is closely, but not precisely, matched by numerical results. Identical faults have different equivalent permeabilities which depend, in part, on characteristics of the permeability field in which they are contained.

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