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Title: Petrophysical properties of fault rock : implications for petroleum production
Author: Shar, Abdul Majeed
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 955X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Faults can have significant impact on reservoir productivity. Understanding the factors that controls the fluid flow properties of fault rocks provides a sound basis to assess the impact of faults on reservoirs productivity. Therefore, different aspects that affect the fluid flow within siliciclastic fault formations were investigated in this research project. Fault rock samples from a number of locations were analysed including: (i) core samples from central and southern North Sea fields; (ii) and outcrop samples from the 90 Fathom fault, Northumberland, UK and Miri airport road exposure, Malaysia as well as the Hopeman fault from Invernesshire, UK. The impact of faults on fluid flow was assessed by integrating the data from QXRD analysis, microstructural examination, X-ray tomography, mercury porosimetry for pore size distribution, absolute and relative permeability measurements as well as capillary pressure tests. Single phase and multiphase flow properties which were conducted at a range of stresses are the most comprehensive collection of high quality fault rock data. The permeability measurements made using gas gave higher values than with brine, which in turn gave higher values that when measured using distilled water permeability. The differences in permeability could be the results of clay particles swelling; mobilisation and retaining within the confined pore throats, although these effects depend on the rock mineralogy and pore fluid composition. Moreover, the permeability stress sensitivity was investigated. The results showed that at low confining stresses the permeability of the fault rock core samples showed high sensitivity to stress, whereas at higher confining stresses the permeability was less pronounced to stress. This might be due to the core damage effects and the microfractures formed due to stress release, which were observed from SEM images. The pore radius calculated from gas slippage parameters at low confining pressures was in the same order of magnitude as the micro fracture width. The micro cracks could be easily closed due to stress increase hence resulted in reduction of permeability. Overall, the stress sensitivity of fault rocks from outcrop is less than that from core. This is consistent with the idea that stress sensitivity is mainly the result of the presence of grain boundary microfractures formed as core is brought to the surface. This indicates that permeability measurements made on outcrop samples may be more reliable. Another key finding was that the published permeability data (e.g. Fisher and Knipe, 2001) compared with present study data which is obtained at in-situ stress using formation compatible brines showed that the published data may not be inaccurate as the use of distilled water gives lower permeability than brines and low stresses resulted in higher permeability than in-situ stress measurements. Therefore, the results indicate that two different laboratory practices used in previous studies partially cancel each other out so that the existing data is yet valuable. The effective gas permeability were also measured at a range of stresses and it was observed that the samples with lower absolute permeabilities were more stress sensitive to stress than high permeable samples. The relative permeability results obtained were incorporated into a specific example of synthetic reservoir model. These suggested that faults formed within low permeability sands might act as a barrier to fluid flow.
Supervisor: Fisher, Quentin ; Lorinczi, Piroska ; Grattoni, Carlos Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available