Enhanced integrated geomechanics-seismic model for improvement of lifecycle performance of tight gas sand reservoirs

Sponsors:- Chevron, ConocoPhillips, DECC and Shell.

Tight gas sandstone reservoirs have very low matrix permeability and their production rates are often highly stress-sensitive.  Development of these reservoirs is often on the borderline of being uneconomic but it is difficult to estimate future production rates at an early stage in their appraisal and development.  Also, an increased number of reservoirs would be economical if it were possible to identify natural fracture corridors (sweet spots) and predict reservoir stress evolution before and during production.  Development of these reservoirs would also become less risky if it were possible to predict the stress sensitivity of their future production rates at an early stage.

Here we propose to develop components of an integrated geomechanical – seismic assessment methods for guiding production in tight gas sand reservoirs.  It will contain models that will: (i) help locate and characterise sweet spots in tight gas formations via natural and induced fractures; (ii) predict reservoir stress distributions before and during production; (iii) predict the stress sensitivity of future production rates at an early stage.

The knowledge generated within the project will lead to determination of the 'best use' of the geomechanical models and seismic methods for the characterisation of tight gas sands, which will be transferred to the partners via reports, white papers and series of workshops.

Rockfield Software Limited, Swansea - Dr Martin Dutko, Dr Jian Yu - experts in advanced finite element techniques of non-linear material behaviour.

University of Bristol - Prof. Michael Kendall, Dr Doug Angus – experts in seismology (theory, interpretation and forward modelling).

University of Leeds – Prof. Quentin J. Fisher – expert in reservoir deformation, sediment diagenesis, petroleum geoengineering.