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PTTC Review of Fractured Reservoir Issues & FRAC

FRAC research is discussed in a recent review of fractured reservoir research efforts sponsored by DOE. The fracture report can be found on the Petroleum Technology Tranfer Council (PTTC) website.

Predicting Permeability Enhancement

Jon Olson presented research on predicting fracture attributes and incorporating results in fluid flow simulation at the Dallas OilRock SPE rock mechanics symposium. Slides are posted on the ftp site, and an account of the research can be found in the February 2001 and August 2002 eJournal and on the FTP site.

An important development of the modeling research is the incorporation of emergent threshold as a modifier of aperture and length distributions.

The accompanying image shows recent scanned CL and SEI measurements of c-axis emergent threshold (etc) from producing sandstone in the Piceance Basin. 11/06/02

In the image, pink and light blue areas are grains, dark blue is quartz
cement (including cement in fractures) and black areas are porosity.
Student field research projects are currently underway in the Rockies and elsewhere. Most of these studies are also linked to subsurface core and/or seismic data sets and studies. For more information on opportunities for students contact Randy Marrett in the Department of Geological Sciences or Jon Olson in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Eengineering. To right, Steve Laubach on recent FRAC field work in western Wyoming.  

Ecopetrol Fractured Carbonates
Field Trip

Guided by Leonel Gomez, Alberto Ortiz and a party of scientists from Ecopetrol recently examined fracture patterns in the field area of northeast Mexico.

More information on the field trip and a collection of images and data from the trip is being provided through the "Northeast Mexico Field Study" folder on the new case studies portal.

The image shows the field party in northeastern Mexico. 11/06/02


More images from field trip.

October Student Presentations
Chris Hare recently presented "Analysis of fracture clustering using the continuous wavelet transform: An example from the Marble Falls Limestone" at the Department of Geological Sciences.

Patricia Montoya presented "Characterization of a Sandstone Fractured Reservoir: From Core to 3-D Seismic Analysis" at the Institute of Geophysics. 11/06/02

Crosscutting fractures showing crack-seal texture, Jurassic sandstone, NE Mexico. Scanned CL image, Rob Reed.

  At GCAGS Astrid Makowitz presented "Quantitative measurements of brittle deformation with burial compaction, Frio Formation, Gulf of Mexico Basin", John Hooker presented "Origin of faults and extension fractures in Cretaceous carbonates, NE Mexico", and Peggy Rijken presented "Natural fracture characterization of the Travis Peak Formation, East Texas: Application of new rock testing and modeling methods." All of the presentations were excellent. John Hooker also co-chaired the GCAGS session with Steve Laubach.

At the Department of Geological Sciences, Barbara Tillotson, one of Bob Goldhammer's MS students, recently presented "Bed and facies scale selectivity of late-stage dolomitization: Lower Ordovician El Paso Group, Franklin Mountains, west Texas", an interesting study of dolomite formation, localization, and fracturing. We intend to arrange a FRAC field trip to this field area soon in conjunction with our ongoing studies of fractures in subsurface Bighorn, Ellenburger, Knox, and Trenton/Black River reservoirs.

Leonel Gomez will present "Fractures galore in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico" at the Department of Geological Sciences Hard Rock seminar on November 27. 11/06/02

New Case Studies Portal Expected to Open November 2002
The new, completely revamped case studies portal of the FRAC web site is expected to be online this month. A review of how the new portal will work will be posted on the eJournal. 11/06/02
  Fractures and Karst Reservoirs
Fractured and karsted reservoirs will be the topic of a new study partly supported by the Department of Energy titled "Reviving abandoned reservoirs with high-pressure air injection: Application in a fractured and karsted dolomite reservoir." Bob Loucks, along with Julia Gale and Steve Ruppel, will be leading the effort on this project, which is an outgrowth of our ongoing studies in West Texas fractured dolomites. This project is a good opportunity to leverage FRAC effort on important issues in carbonate fracture prediction, delineation, and fracture-related fluid-flow modeling. This study also is a link to
other ongoing fractured carbonate studies led by Randy Marrett, Bob Goldhammer, and Jon Olson. A synopsis will appear shortly on the eJournal. Contact Julia Gale for more information. 08/30/02
Student and ex-Student Event
The annual FRAC Student and TexasEXs Event and Picnic is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 28, at Muleshoe Bend, Texas. Members are welcome.
See Kitty Milliken, Jon Olson, or the Calendar (on the private side) for
Not the location of the picnic.
directions to the location and for more information. (Bureau alumni page) 08/22/02
Department of Geological Sciences Seminar
Christopher Hare, UT-DoGS MS Candidate "Analysis of fracture clustering using the continuous wavelet transform: An example from the Marble Falls Limestone"
4 p.m., October 24, 2002.

PTTC to Sponsor GCAGS Technical Session
The Texas Region PTTC will sponsor "Faults, Fractures, and Seals," a GCAGS 2002 Convention Technical Session chaired by Stephen E. Laubach and
Amgad Younes (Shell) scheduled for Thursday, October 31, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., in room 8AB of the Austin Convention Center. The GCAGS 2002 Registration Booklet, containing details of this session and of the entire meeting, is posted on the convention's Website at 08/14/02


Montoya wins Best Student Presentation Award
Patricia Montoya received a best-student-speaker award from the Department of Geological Sciences for "Characterization of a fractured sandstone reservoir from core to 3D seismic analysis, Tacata Field, Eastern Maturin Basin, Venezuela." Congratulations Patricia on winning this very competitive award. The study, which is described further in the Reports section of the site, included successful calibration of seismic-based fracture characterization methods using microanalysis methods and scaling. Patricia's committee:
Drs. William Fisher, Randall Marrett, and Robert Tatham. Rene Manceda from Repsol and several researchers from PDVSA have contributed to this study. 07/10/02

Results from Montoya's study

  Laubach Joins Graduate Studies Committee
In May, Steve Laubach was appointed to the Graduate Studies Committee of The University of Texas at Austin. 07/10/02
Linda Bonnell and Rob Lander from Geocosm will be teaching a short course at the GCAGS entitled: Reservoir Quality Prediction: From Deep Water to Tight Gas Sandstones. Click here for more information. 07/10/02  

Successful Defense

Yuan Qiu successfully defended her dissertation "Natural fracture characterization and modeling." Dr. Jon Olson directed the research. Yuan's dissertation advanced our capability for numerically modeling large fracture populations and the mechanical interaction that affects fracture's propagation and termination. Copies of this work are available on the FTP site.

With her Ph.D. from the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, Yuan is scheduled to take a position with Shell in The Netherlands. Congratulations Yuan. 07/10/02
June Fractured Sandstone Workshop and Field Trip
Fractured sandstones of the Rockies are the focus of a June FRAC field trip and workshop. The field trip will start in Kemmerer, Wyoming on the morning of June 21. The workshop will be held at Snow King in Jackson, Wyoming, on June 22. Please see What's New on the Members' side of this site for logistics and agenda. Contact Steve Laubach for information.
May 17 Fractures in Carbonate Rocks Work Session

On the afternoon of Friday, May 17, FRAC will host a work session on fractures in carbonate rocks at the Bureau of Economic Geology. Members are welcome. Note that this is a working session. Emphasis is on discussion, which will be lively. If you are interested in attending please contact Steve Laubach.

Jerry Lucia will present a review of fracture attributes in carbonate rocks from a wide range of settings. This will be followed by a synopsis by Rob Lander of recent progress in modeling possibly applicable to fractured carbonates. During the following discussion, several other informal presentations will be made from ongoing observational and modeling studies.

Dolomite Bridges in Fractured Ellenburger CL image scan by
Leonel Gomez

In addition to Lucia and Lander, participants will include Randy Marrett, Jon Olson, Bob Goldhammer, Bob Loucks, Kitty Milliken, Larry Lake, Charlie Kerans, Steve Ruppel, Julia Gale, Rob Reed, Scott Tinker, Linda Bonnell, Faustino Monroy, Leonel Gomez, and Steve Laubach.

Following the work session, there will be a discussion chaired by Bob Goldhammer on structural, diagenetic, and stratigraphic initiatives under the new John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences.

Ortega Successfully Defends Dissertation
In April, Orlando Ortega successfully defended his dissertation "Fracture-Size Scaling and Stratigraphic Controls on Fracture Intensity." Congratulations Orlando, on an excellent defense. Dr. Ortega has accepted a position with Shell.
FRAC Research at 2002 AAPG Houston
The Fracture Research and Application Consortium will be represented at the 2002 AAPG Convention in Houston. Follow this link to a partial listing of FRAC presentations and activities. Please contact Steve Laubach for more information. 02/04/02
Visiting Scientists Linda Bonnell and Rob Lander have a new paper in AAPG Bulletin. "Anomalously high porosity and permeability in deeply buried sandstone reservoirs: origin and predictability", by Sal Bloch, Robert H. Lander, and Linda Bonnell, 2002, AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, no. 2, p. 301-328, shows how anomalously high values of porosity and permeability in sandstone can successfully be predicted. Linda and Rob are working with the Fracture Research and Application Consortium to apply sandstone diagenesis modeling to the problem of fracture development. 02/04/02
Leonel Gomez, Graduate Research Assistant in the Bureau's Fracture Research and Application Consortium and doctoral aspirant in the Department of Geological Sciences, presented an invited talk Thursday, January 17, 2002 to members of Ecopetrol's research division in Bucaramanga, Colombia, with a live TV link to Ecopetrol offices in Bogotá and in other cities. The presentation described multidisciplinary empirical and modeling studies for characterization of fractured reservoirs. The title of the talk was “Estudios Empíricos
y de Modelamiento en la Caracterización de Reservorios Fracturados : un enfoque multidisciplinario.” 01/10/02