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232, Avenue Napoléon Bonaparte
P.O. BOX 213
92502 Rueil-Malmaison
France
Phone: +33 1 47 08 80 00
Fax: +33 1 47 08 41 85
info@beicip.fr
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Naturally Fractured Reservoirs
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
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2
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 Objective: to reduce the complexity of the actual fracture
system (at fracture scale) to a few relevant equivalent
parameters (at larger scale, i.e. the reservoir simulation
cell scale)

 Requirement: to dispose of a detailed description of the
fracture system

 The equivalent parameters are the input data for the
reservoir simulation model
Upscaling of fracture properties
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3
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Determination of |
f
, K
f
tensor
and (a,b,c) or o ?
Warren & Root
representation of a reservoir cell
Reservoir grid
Geological model
Geological model of a reservoir cell
Upscaling at a reservoir cell scale
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4
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling

 Example
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 The concept of permeability for fractures is scale dependant:


Conductivity & Permeability
ee
At the fracture scale (k
f
), the
intrinsic permeability can be
very high.
Main
flow
direction
The fracture network
permeability is a function of k
f
and connectivity
B
A
The permeability of the
fracture network at grid cell
dimension (Kf) is a function of
the fracture network
permeability and the grid cell
size.
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6
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 The concept of permeability for fractures is scale dependant.
 For this reason, 3 parameters are used:

• Conductivity : Cd = k
f
x e
• k
f
: intrinsic fracture permeability
• e : fracture aperture


• Fracture permeability at grid cell scale : K
fX
, K
fY
& K
fZ





•Transmissibility:

Conductivity & Permeability
L
S . K
T
f
=
B
A X
Z . Y . K
T
AB
f
A
A A
=
ΔX
ΔY
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 The fracture aperture is the mean open thickness of an individual
fracture.

 It is usually very small (between 0.1 and 0.5 mm) but can locally reach
several centimeters (enlarged fractures)

 The aperture can be estimated through direct observation (Image log,
thin section, core, outcrop …) or using the Poiseuille’ law:






Cf, the conductivity can be derived
from the calibration of a DFN model
Cf = fracture conductivity in mD.m
e = fracture aperture in mm
Fracture aperture and porosity
ee
6
3
10 98 0 12
÷
=
. . x
e
Cf
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8
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 At fracture scale, the porosity is defined as :

• It varies between 0 for sealed fractures and 100% for open fractures

A reservoir scale (or grid cell scale), the fracture porosity is defined as:



• It is often very small (below 1%)

Example:
• 2 orthogonal sets of open fractures (φ
f
=100%)
• Fracture density : 1 frac every meter
• Fracture aperture : 0.5 mm
• Estimate the network porosity (Φ
f
)

Fracture aperture and porosity
f r act ur e
voi d
f
V
V
= ¢
r ock
voi d
f
V
V
¿
= |
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 Parameters such as compressibility, relative permeability and capillary
pressure are difficult to measure. They are often estimated:

 Fracture Compressibility
• Often considered to be 10 times higher than the matrix compressibility

 Capillary pressure (Pc)
• Often neglected (Pc=0). L.H. Reiss estimated that for an aperture higher than
10 µm capillarity plays little or no role in the fracture network.

 Relative permeability (Kr)
• Like Pc, it is often neglected. Cross type relative permeability curves are
used.

Other parameters
0
0
1
1
NORMALISED WATER SATURATION
Kr
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling

 Example
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 Explicit modelling: no upscaling
• e.g. : PLT or well test simulation in a DFN

 Equivalent single-porosity model:
• micro-fractures: K
m
anisotropy
• matrix and fractures: K
m
, |
m
, pseudo-Kr (Ref. SPE 68165)

 Dual-porosity 1K or 2K :
• Diffuse fractures: K
f
(tensor), |
f
, o (or o, or block size)
• Sub-seismic faults and fracture swarms
Fracture models & upscaled parameters
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12
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
10 cm
No dual porosity system

Upscaling: matrix anisotropy
Micro fractures: matrix anisotropy
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13
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Sw
Krw
Sw
Krw
Sw
Krw
Fracture
Matrix
Matrix + Fracture
Single grid block
X
Y
Single medium: pseudo Kr curves
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 Context: dual-porosity model

 Reservoir cell scale very much larger than fracture scale

 At reservoir cell scale, fracture medium behaves homogeneously (as a
continuum):
• high fracture network connectivity
• high fracture network conductivity

 In this case, upscaling = homogenization

 Equivalent parameters:
÷ |
f
,
- a fracture permeability tensor K
f
,
- an equivalent block size (or a shape factor o or an exchange
factor o)
Dual porosity upscaling
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15
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling
• Upscaling of large scale fractures (Swarm / Faults)
• Upscaling of diffuse fractures
- Permeability upscaling
- Block size upscaling

 Example
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Upscaling of large scale fractures
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling
• Upscaling of large scale fractures (Swarm / Faults)
• Upscaling of diffuse fractures
- Permeability upscaling
- Block size upscaling

 Example
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties

 Complete K tensor

 Main horizontal flow directions

 Equivalent permeabilities along those
directions K
h1
, K
h2

 Horizontal permeability anisotropy

 Vertical permeability K
z

 Vertical/horizontal anisotropy ratio
2
1
h
h
K
K
2 1 h h
z
K K
K
·
Fracture permeability tensor
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
zz yz xz
zy yy xy
zx yx xx
k k k
k k k
k k k
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
Z
h
h
k
k
k
0 0
0 0
0 0
2
1
x
y
z
h1
h2
Full tensor
Diagonal tensor
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19
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Two different methods:


 Numerical upscaling: small (local)-scale simulation to derive
large-scale properties

 Analytical upscaling: the fracture network large scale
permeability is derived from the fracture geometrical
characteristics. Two possible techniques:
• Analytical abacuses: Reiss abacuses to determine equivalent
fracture permeability of orthogonal fracture sets of infinite length
• Oda analytical upscaling

Permeability upscaling methods for diffuse fractures
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20
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling
• Upscaling of large scale fractures (Swarm / Faults)
• Upscaling of diffuse fractures
- Permeability upscaling
• Numerical upscaling
• Analytical upscaling
- Block size upscaling

 Example
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21
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties

Equivalent fracture permeability tensor at the scale of a
reservoir simulator cell
Discrete fracture
network model
Steady-state flow computation
in 3 directions
Local fracture
permeability
ellipsoid
Permeability upscaling workflow
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22
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
• Approach: Discrete fracture model, no contribution of matrix

• Procedure:
- a 3D-extended resistor network
method (incompressible
steady-state flow simulation)
- fracture network discretization with
nodes at fracture intersections
- specific boundary conditions to derive a
permeability tensor
Equivalent permeability tensor
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
X
Y
1
2
Kh1
Kh2
Principal flow directions 1 and 2
Kh1 and Kh2 = eigenvalues of K tensor
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
zz
yy xy
yx xx
k 0 0
0 k k
0 k k
K tensor
AP
0
(XY)
AP
AP
(Z)
Permeability tensor and flow directions
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
18000
20000
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
fracture density (m/m²)
f
i
r
s
t

p
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

(
m
D
)
Transition
Linear part
Percolation
density
Zero K
1 set of diffuse fractures with a given distribution of orientation and
given lognormal distributions of fracture length and conductivity
Ref.:“Correlations Between Natural Fracture Attributes and Equivalent Dual-Porosity Model Parameters”, S. Sarda, B. Bourbiaux and
M.C. Cacas, 10
th
European Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Brighton, 18-20 Aug. 1999.

Fracture permeability vs fracture density
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25
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
0
5
10
15
20
25
0 5 10 15
Fracture length (m)
F
r
a
c
t
u
r
e

p
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

(
m
D
)
Fracture permeability vs fracture length
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26
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling
• Upscaling of large scale fractures (Swarm / Faults)
• Upscaling of diffuse fractures
- Permeability upscaling
• Numerical upscaling
• Analytical upscaling
- Block size upscaling

 Example
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27
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Analytical upscaling – Introduction
r
L
dP
Rate Q
Viscosity μ
Poiseuille law
(derived from Navier-Stokes equations in the case
of a viscous incompressible fluid flow in a pipe)
Darcy law
(describes an incompressible fluid flow in a porous
medium)
Q
r
L
P
4
8
t
µ
= A
L
P r
r
Q A
=
µ t
1
8
2
2
L
P
K
r
Q A
=
µ t
1
2
For a given « fracture » (here a capillary tube) the permeability can be derived
analytically directly from the geometry of the fracture (ie aperture, shape,
length)
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28
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
28
Abacuses based on simple relationships between |
f
, k
f
,
fracture aperture and spacing (after Reiss)

1. Fracture porosity (|
f
), spacing (a,b,c in 3D) and fracture aperture e:
¬ |
f
# e[1/a+1/b+1/c]

2. Apparent (equivalent) fracture permeability in direction (i)

Flow rate through fractures (delimiting n blocks)

¬ Poiseuille equation
Q= (ne
3
(a+b)/12µ). (AP/L)

¬ Darcy law
Q= (k
f
.A /µ). (AP/L) with A#nab

Hence:
k
f
= [n(a+b)/A].(e
3
/12) =(1/a+1/b).(e
3
/12)
e
b
a
a
c
(i)
Abacuses for fracture upscaling (Reiss)
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29
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
29
Abacuses established for matrix blocks (plates, bars or cubes) of lateral
dimension a

na/A=fracture length per unit cross-section area
1/a if 1 fracture set
na/A= along flow direction
2/a if 2 fracture sets


Application:
• possibility to check the consistency between dynamic information
(well test results), and geological information (spacing or block size)
• 2 of the 4 unknowns (k
f
, |
f
, a, e) have to be fixed to infer the 2 others.
Ref.: Reiss, L.H. 1980. Reservoir engineering en milieu fissuré. Editions Technip, Paris.
Abacuses for fracture upscaling (Reiss)
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30
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
|
f
,%
K
f
= 0.1darcy
a= 6m
|
f
= 0.003%
L.H. Reiss abacus
(p.92)
e= 200 µm
Abacuses for fracture upscaling (Reiss)
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31
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Analytical upscaling – The ODA method ; (1/3)
1
g

2
g

3
g

A’
C’
D’
E’
B’
n

azimut
Nord
(j)
P
n n n n n
n n n n n
n n n n n
V
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
÷ ÷ ÷
÷ ÷ ÷
÷ ÷ ÷

 
.
1
1
1
μ
e
λ u
2
3 3 2 3 1
3 2
2
2 2 1
3 1 2 1
2
1
2
j
 Poiseuille law for a single planar « crossing »
fracture of aperture e :
Fluid velocity (analogous to Q/Area)
Poiseuille coefficient
Describes the fracture geometry
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32
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Analytical upscaling – The ODA method ; (2/3)
 From a single fracture to the fracture network, assuming:
• A perfect Poiseuille Behavior (λ=1/12)
• That each fracture belongs to a “crossing” network and is
independant of the network (i.e. uniform pressure gradient in the cell)



( )
}}}
¿ ¿
= =
V ÷ = =
Vfrac
_
1
_
1
j
j
s
(j ) (f)
) (
P ). N V.e². .
μ
λ
(
V
1
.dx.dy.dz u
V
1
U
set nb
s
frac nb
j
s



|
|
|
.
|

\
|
÷ ÷ ÷
÷ ÷ ÷
÷ ÷ ÷
=
2
3 3 2 3 1
3 2
2
2 2 1
3 1 2 1
2
1
j
1
1
1
N
n n n n n
n n n n n
n n n n n
With
Global « large scale » fluid velocity in the network
Volume of rock
Volume of a given fracture (s,j)
In that case, the global fluid velocity can be obtained by a weighted average
of the velocity in each fracture proportionally to its volume
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33
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Analytical upscaling – The ODA method ; (3/3)
 From there, the upscaled permeability can be
written:
• In Dual media:




• In Single media:
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
¿
=
. ) N V .
12

(
V V
1
K K
nb_j oints
1 j
j
j
j
(f) (m)
(f)
eq
K K K
(m) (f)
eq
+ =
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34
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Sensitivity studies are needed to analyse the effect of fracture sets’
conductivities on equivalent permeability (role of each fracture set)
Fracture set n°1 and fracture set n°2:
- different orientations
- different geological history
- different conductivities
Example: the network is non conductive if
one of the fracture sets is non conductive
If C1 >> C2, Kf tensor is
If C2 >> C1, Kf tensor is
Conductive network with two fracture sets
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
2 orthogonal sets with mean conductivity of 10000 mDm
0
10000
20000
30000
40000
50000
60000
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
density in m-1
Kh in mD
numerical Kh
analytical Kh
Computationnal time for equivalent parameters
1
10
100
1000
10000
0 1 1,33333333 1,81818182 5 10
density
time in s
numerical time computation
analytical time computation
Analytical vs. Numerical upscaling
Permeability is slightly more optimistic with the
analytical upscaling, especially in low density
(poorly connected) networks (the method
assumes total connectivity)
Analytical upscaling is much quicker than
numerical upscaling
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling
• Upscaling of large scale fractures (Swarm / Faults)
• Upscaling of diffuse fractures
- Permeability upscaling
• Numerical upscaling
• Analytical upscaling
- Block size upscaling

 Example
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Two different methods:

 Geometrical averaging: block dimensions are deduced from
the average spacing between fractures in the principal
direction of flow and perpendicularly to this direction.
• Very fast method used generally in combination with Oda analytical
upscaling

 Image processing: Horizontal block dimensions is
determined in each layer on the basis of capillary imbibition,
with image processing analysis of the fracture network
• Slower but more accurate technique generally used in combination
with a numerical upscaling
Block size upscaling methods for diffuse fractures
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
 Equivalent block size:

• a = mean spacing in the
principal direction of flow
(here the yellow fractures)

• b = mean spacing in the
perpendicular direction
(here the green fractures)

• c = mean height of fractures
a
b
Block size upscaling : geometrical averaging
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39
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Horizontal block dimensions determined in each layer on
the basis of capillary imbibition with 2 assumptions:
X(t)
X(t)
Conclusion: R(t) <======> A(X)
+ Distance of invasion vs. time independent of shape: t <--> X
+ piston-type invasion of homog. isotr. matrix blocks: R <--> A
Block size upscaling : image processing
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40
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
a
b
Equivalent medium Actual fractured medium
A (X)
X
A i
Xi
Image processing
A eq (a,b,X) )
X
Aeq i
Xi
Analytical expression
a and b solutions
Minimization of

J(a, b) [A(x ) Aeq(a, b, x )]
i
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= ÷
¿
2
Geometrical method: implementation
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
How to upscale fracture properties ?
 Introduction: fracture dynamic properties

 Different types of upscaling for different problems

 Dual porosity upscaling

 Example
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42
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Outcrop photograph
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43
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
X
Y
Z
100 m
Upscaling & REV: example
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44
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
100 80 60 40 20 0
0,0
0,1
0,2
0,3
0,4
0,5
Subvolume horizontal dimension, m
E
q
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f
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p
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a
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,

m
d
Ky
Kz
Kx
REV study of equivalent permeability
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45
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
100 80 60 40 20 0
0
2
4
6
8
10
Subvolume horizontal dimension, m
E
q
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a
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n
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b
l
o
c
k

s
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a
,

m
Layer 3
Layer 7
Layers 1 to 9
REV study of equivalent block size
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Y
X
Top view of layer 3
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Y
X
Top view of layer 7
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48
Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
•K
x
map
•K
y
map …
Full field equivalent parameters
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Part 3 – Upscaling of fracture properties
Final dual porosity simulation model
S
w
matrix
S
w
fracture