A major exploration challenge is to successfully predict the presence of an effective seal. Due to their low permeabilities, high capillary entry pressures, and lateral continuity, shales generally form excellent traps.

However, even in a shale-rich environment, trap integrity may be compromised by excess fluid pressure. As pressure converges on the least principal stress, processes such as shear failure or hydrofracture may generate fracture permeability. This enhanced permeability facilitates the expulsion of hydrocarbons from a reservoir.

We describe with a flow model how pressures at the crests of structures are elevated due to flow focusing. We then document an example...

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