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Fluid flow in dual permeability hydrocarbon reservoirs


This project is concerned with reducing the problems associated with producing hydrocarbons from dual permeability reservoirs. The bulk of the oil in such fields is held in the rock matrix which is of relatively low permeability compared with the fracture network embedded in this matrix. This dual system poses two problems. The first concerns the siting of production wells, which must intersect one or more of the major fractures in the network to achieve acceptable production rates. The second concerns the siting and use of injection wells which if wrongly placed will result in rapid advance of the injected water towards production wells, isolating potentially recoverable oil in fracture-bounded blocks of matrix; this oil is then very difficult to recover.

The objectives of the project are: - to generate datasets describing natural fracture systems, incorporating attributes relevant to the flow properties of the systems; - to determine the systematics of these natural fractures in terms of size populations, fracture densities, intersections and fracture connectivity, and to numerically model these systems and compare the flow properties of the modelled and observed dual permeability fracture systems; - to devise a procedure for application of the modelling to reservoir fracture data and for incorporation of the results in reservoir simulation and to test the procedures on data from a mature field.

This project is concerned with reducing the problems associated with optimising production from dual permeability hydrocarbon reservoirs, both carbonate and clastic. The first aim is to establish the systematics of relevant fracture systems by analyzing high quality data obtained from outcrop. Methods will then be developed for modelling the relevant features of the natural fracture systems. This will be accompanied by flow modelling to ensure a close match of flow properties of real and model systems and to quantify the volume variability of dual permeability. It is intended that these procedures will allow the fracture pattern for a specific interwell volume to be modelled on the basis of well data, to produce a model fracture pattern with the same properties as the actual fracture pattern.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Liverpool

L69 3BX Liverpool
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM)
Avenue De Concyr
45060 Orléans
Danmarks Geologiske Undersøgelse

2400 København Nv
IBM Norway A/S
1411 Kolbotn