The University of Texas at Austin's Fracture Research and Application Consortium (FRAC) is dedicated to conquering the challenges of reservoir fractures.
Geophysical, and Engineering Studies
Finding new methods to understand and successfully predict, characterize, and simulate reservoir-scale structures is the aim of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium.
Fractures and faults have worldwide importance because of their influence on successful extraction of resources. Many faults and fractures are difficult or impossible to characterize adequately using currently available technology. Consequently, reservoirs that contain fractures have been intractable to describe and interpret effectively, posing serious challenges for exploration, development, and accurate reservoir simulation and reservoir management. Characterization and accurate prediction of reservoir fractures hold great potential for improving production by increasing the efficiency of exploration and recovery processes.
The Fracture Research and Application Consortium seeks fundamental understanding of fractures and fracture processes with the aim of improved prediction and diagnosis of fracture attributes in the subsurface.
Site-Specific Fracture Prediction and Characterization
Consortium research is exploring the hypothesis that understanding the links among mechanical and chemical processes is a key to more accurate predictions and characterizations of the attributes of large fractures. We have obtained accurate predictions of fracture clustering and length distribution and reliable measurements of fracture strike, fracture intensity, and degree of porosity preservation using approaches that circumvent the limitations of conventional log or core-based sampling. A key advantage of this approach is that it provides site-specific fracture information reliably and at any user-specified level of completeness. Therefore, our methods can work even without measuring elusive, difficult-to-sample large fractures. These methods have been used to calibrate seismic fracture detection methods and to incorporate fractures in fluid flow simulations.
Our current research is exploiting this breakthrough in several ways:
This research involves case studies in a wide range of formations worldwide.
Stephen E. Laubach
Dr. Jon Olson
Dr. Randy Marrett