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NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS Fracture: A fracture is the surface in which lost of cohesion gas take place.

Natural Fracture: A natural fracture is any break or crack occurring in the rock. Naturally Fracture Reservoir: A naturally fractured reservoir can be defined as a reservoir that contains fractures created by natural processes like diastrophism.

Importance Of N.F.R. And Their Modeling: Fractured petroleum reservoirs represent over 20% of the world's oil and gas reserves, but are however among the most complicated class of reservoirs to produce efficiently. It is undeniable that reservoir characterization, modeling and simulation of naturally fractured reservoirs present unique challenges that differentiate them from conventional, single porosity reservoirs. This complexity of naturally fractured reservoirs necessitates the need for their accurate representation from a modeling and simulation, such that production and recovery from such reservoirs be maximized. Although most geothermal reservoirs reside in fractured rocks, most models that have been developed to analyze their behavior have been based on porous medium approximations. In these models, the hydraulic behavior of the fractures and the matrix blocks are modeled together as a locally-homogeneous porous medium. It is well-known, however, that porous medium models are poorly suited for predicting certain aspects of the behavior of geothermal wells.

Explanation: Naturally fractured reservoirs are different from conventional (un-fractured)

reservoirs; they are heterogeneous in type and consist of two distinct types of porous media called the matrix and fracture. Because of the different fluid-storage and conductivity characteristics of the matrix and fractures, these reservoirs are often called dual-porosity reservoirs. In Figure 1 we illustrate a naturally fractured reservoir composed of a rock matrix surrounded by an irregular system of vugs and natural fractures. The matrix blocks are made of the original rock that was present before fracturing took place. The matrix is characterized by its permeability km and porosity

The fracture system is characterized by its

Figure 1 Idealization of naturally fractured heterogeneous porous media

permeability kf and porosity


It means a naturally fractured reservoir is a doubleporosity and

a double-permeability reservoir.

Naturally Fractured Reservoir Models: Several models have been proposed to represent the pressure behavior in the naturally fractured reservoir. These models differ conceptually only in the assumptions made to describe fluid flow in the matrix. Most dual porosity models assume that production from the naturally fractured system goes from the matrix to the fracture and thence to the wellbore (i.e., the matrix does not produce directly into the wellbore), as shown in following figure.

Furthermore, the models assume that the matrix has low permeability but large storage capacity relative to the natural fracture system, while the fractures have high permeability but low storage capacity. Here we are going to introduce some parameters which are related to the understanding of the dual-porosity reservoirs. According to Warren and Root, the inter-porosity flow is defined as the fluid exchange between the two media (i.e., the matrix and fractures) constituting a dual-porosity system:


= permeability of the matrix,

= permeability of the natural fracture, and

parameter characteristic of the system geometry. The inter-porosity flow coefficient is a measure of how easily fluid flows from the matrix to the fractures. The parameter is defined by


= a characteristic dimension of a matrix block and .

= the number of normal sets of

planes limiting the less permeable medium ( The storativity ratio, , is defined by:

Where and

= ratio of the total volume of the one medium to the bulk volume of the total system = ratio of the pore volume of one medium to the total volume of that medium.

Consequently the storativity ratio is a measure of the relative fracture storage capacity in the reservoir.

Many models have been developed for naturally fractured reservoir; two common models are pseudo-steady state and transient flow.

Physical Properties of Naturally Fractured Rock: y y y y y Porosity Permeability Relative permeability in a fractured reservoir Compressibility in a fractured rock Capillary pressure curve

Porosity: Fractured reservoir rocks are made up of two porosity systems; one intergranular formed by void spaces between the grains of the rock, and a second formed by void spaces of fractures and vugs. The first type is called primary porosity. The second type is called secondary porosity. Double Porosity:

In a fractured reservoir the total porosity ( t) is the result of the simple addition of the primary and secondary porosities.

This total porosity is equivalent to the static definition of rock storage or total void space. From a large number of laboratory measurements on various types of rocks, the fracture porosity was considerably less than the matrix porosity. The two porosities are expressed by the conventional definitions,
1 =matrix 2=

void volume/total bulk volume

fracture void volume/total bulk volume

PERMEABILITY: The basics of permeability established in the case of a conventional reservoir remain valid in the case of a fractured reservoir. But in the presence of two systems (matrix and fractures), permeability may be redefined as matrix permeability, fracture permeability and system (fracture-matrix) permeability. This redefinition of permeability may create some confusion especially concerning fracture permeability, which may be interpreted either as single fracture permeability or as fracture network permeability, or sometimes as fracture permeability of fracture-bulk volume. Therefore, the various expressions of permeability will be described here,

Intrinsic Fracture Permeability, Kff: The intrinsic fracture permeability is associated to the conductivity measured during the flow of fluid through a single fracture or through a fracture network, independent of the surrounding rock (matrix). Conventional Fracture Permeability, Kf: In the conventional fracture permeability (based on the classic Darcy definition) the fracture and the associated rock bulk form a hydrodynamic unit. Permeability Of Fracture-Matrix System: The permeability of a fracture-matrix system may be represented by the simple addition of the permeabilities of matrix Km and fractures Kf, Kt = Km + Kf

Relative Permeability in a Fractured Reservoir: Relative permeabilities in a conventional reservoir are obtained from special core analysis. In a fractured reservoir, evaluation of relative permeability curves is complicated because of the nature of the double porosity system.The relative permeability of a specifically fractured reservoir is seldom examined, but the influence of heterogeneity within a porous media on relative permeability was studied in detail. Compressibility in a Fractured Rock: In a fractured reservoir, compressibility of a rock system plays an important role, especially if there is a great contrast between the two porosities of matrix and fractures ( f << m). The role of compressibility is essential in the interpretation of the transient pressure behavior resulting from well testing. In this case, compressibility associated to the double porosity system is expressed by the storage capacity parameter which extensively controls pressure behavior. Compressibility is, in general, defined as the change per unit of volume V for an applied pressure P;

Capillary Pressure Curve: In a fractured reservoir the capillary pressure curve plays a much more important role than in a conventional reservoir. Capillary forces in fractured reservoirs are an extremely important component of the driving mechanism, while the dynamic role of the capillary forces in a conventional reservoir is more limited. In a fractured reservoir capillary forces may contribute to the displacement process inside the imbibitions process, or may oppose it in the drainage displacement process.


Figure 2 Main Drive Mechanisms in Fractured Reservoirs: There are major differences between recovery performance of fractured and non-fractured reservoirs. The high contrast of capillarity between the matrix and the fractures is the main cause of these differences. One of the main characteristics of fractured reservoirs is high rate wells in the early life of the field, due to the high effective single-phase permeability of the combined matrix-fracture porous media. Considering gas-oil gravity drainage for instance, capillary forces hinder positive gravity displacement effects on matrix Moil recovery; moreover the oil drained from the matrix to the fracture can partially or totally re-imbibe neighboring blocks under the effect of capillary forces. Finally gas-oil displacement turns out to be a complex recovery mechanism as it is governed by capillary, gravity and viscous forces and affected by compositional effects including transfer between phases and diffusion.

Depending on their matrix block sizes and matrix permeabilities, fractured reservoirs can be produced using several recovery processes, primary recovery, gas drive (gas cap expansion and solution gas drive combined) water flood, miscible or immiscible gas flood and enhanced oil recovery methods. The main drive mechanisms involved in these processes are schematized in Figure2. Depending of the nature of the recovery process, one or several mechanisms, among imbibitions, water drive, gravity drainage, reimbibition and diffusion, can contribute to production.