A Sensitivity Analysis for Effective Parameters on 2D Fracture-Network Permeability
- Alireza Jafari (University of Alberta) | Tayfun Babadagli (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- June 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 455 - 469
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 1,957 since 2007
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Fracture-network mapping and estimation of its permeability constitute two major steps in static-model preparation of naturally fractured reservoirs. Although several different analytical methods were proposed in the past for calculating fracture-network permeability (FNP), different approaches are still needed for practical use. We propose a new and practical approach to estimate FNP using statistical and fractal characteristics of fracture networks. We also provide a detailed sensitivity analysis to determine the relative importance of fracture-network parameters on the FNP in comparison to single-fracture conductivity using an experimental-design approach.
The FNP is controlled by many different fracture-network parameters such as fracture length, density, orientation, aperture, and single-fracture connectivity. Five different 2D fracture data sets were generated for random and systematic orientations. In each data set, 20 different combinations of fracture density and length for different orientations were tested. For each combination, 10 different realizations were generated. The length was considered as constant and variable. This yielded a total of 1,000 trials. The FNPs were computed through a commercial discrete-fracture-network (DFN) modeling simulator for all cases. Then, we correlated different statistical and fractal characteristics of the networks to the measured FNPs using multivariable-regression analysis. Twelve fractal (sandbox, box counting, and scanline fractal dimensions) and statistical (average length, density, orientation, and connectivity index) parameters were tested against the measured FNP for synthetically generated fracture networks for a wide range of fracture properties. All cases were above the percolation threshold to obtain a percolating network, and the matrix effect was neglected.
The correlation obtained through this analysis using four data sets was tested on the fifth one with known permeability for verification. High-quality match was obtained.
Finally, we adopted an experimental-design approach to identify the most-critical parameters on the FNP for different fracture-network types. The results are presented as Pareto charts.
It is believed that the new method and results presented in this paper will be useful for practitioners in static-model development of naturally fractured reservoirs and will shed light on further studies on modeling and understanding the transmissibility characteristics of fracture networks. It should be emphasized that this study was conducted on 2D fracture networks and could be extended to 3D models. This, however, requires further algorithm development to use 2D fractal characteristics for 3D systems and/or development of fractal measurement techniques for a 3D system. This study will provide a guideline for this type of research.
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