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Incorporation of fault properties in hydrocarbon migration models, Final Publishable Report

Project ID: ENK6-CT-2000-00072
Funded under: FP5-EESD


A major shortcoming of existing modelling systems for basin-scale hydrocarbon migration is that they do not take account of the effects of faults. The primary Infami objective was to add functionality to an existing migration modelling software system (Semi) to incorporate both the negative and positive effects of faults on migration and accumulation in multiple carrier/reservoir intervals offset by seismically mapped faults. Additional project objectives were to improve understanding of the factors controlling fault seal capacity both by basic research approaches and by attempting to replicate known hydrocarbon distributions using the newly developed software.
Semi is a computational modelling system designed to investigate migration and entrapment of oil and gas from source rocks to traps, and thereby provide explorationists with quantitative estimates of the amounts of hydrocarbons in (undrilled) traps, and the most likely phases to expect in them. Oil migration is modelled by the ray-tracing method where oil migrates upwards due to buoyancy forces beneath the top surface of a carrier interval. Three types of fault seal behaviour are of concern: 1) juxtaposition seal due to the across-fault juxtaposition of sealing units against carrier units; 2) across fault �membrane� seal where carrier units are juxtaposed across the fault; and 3) migration along faults. The seal capacity in case 1 is a function of the geometry of the fault carrier unit(s) and seal capacities in cases 2 and 3 are controlled the by the threshold pressures of the fault rocks. The key objective was to define methodologies for defining fault threshold pressures and incorporate these three behaviours in single and multiple carrier Semi simulations. The assumptions made at the outset of the project which formed the basis for fault seal calculation were 1) fault seal capacity is defined by fault rock threshold pressures, i.e. static rather than dynamic seal and 2) fault rock threshold pressures ar

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