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Open AccessArticle

Faults as Volumetric Weak Zones in Reservoir-Scale Hydro-Mechanical Finite Element Models—A Comparison Based on Grid Geometry, Mesh Resolution and Fault Dip

Institut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, TU Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstraße 9, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
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Energies 2020, 13(10), 2673; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102673
Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 25 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Geomechanics in Petroleum Engineering)
An appropriate representation of faults is fundamental for hydro-mechanical reservoir models to obtain robust quantitative insights into the spatial distribution of stress, strain and pore pressure. Using a generic model containing a reservoir layer displaced by a fault, we examine three issues which are typically encountered if faults have to be incorporated in reservoir-scale finite element simulations. These are (1) mesh resolution aspects honoring the scale difference between the typical cell size of the finite element (FE) reservoir model and the heterogeneity of a fault zone, (2) grid geometry relative to the fault geometry and (3) fault dip. Different fault representations were implemented and compared regarding those on the modeling results. Remarkable differences in the calculated stress and strain patterns as well as the pore pressure field are observed. The modeling results are used to infer some general recommendations concerning the implementation of faults in hydro-mechanical reservoir models regarding mesh resolution and grid geometry, taking into account model-scale and scope of interest. The goal is to gain more realistic simulations and, hence, more reliable results regarding fault representation in reservoir models to improve production, lower cost and reduce risk during subsurface operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: faults; reservoir; hydro-mechanical modeling; finite element modeling faults; reservoir; hydro-mechanical modeling; finite element modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Treffeisen, T.; Henk, A. Faults as Volumetric Weak Zones in Reservoir-Scale Hydro-Mechanical Finite Element Models—A Comparison Based on Grid Geometry, Mesh Resolution and Fault Dip. Energies 2020, 13, 2673. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102673

AMA Style

Treffeisen T, Henk A. Faults as Volumetric Weak Zones in Reservoir-Scale Hydro-Mechanical Finite Element Models—A Comparison Based on Grid Geometry, Mesh Resolution and Fault Dip. Energies. 2020; 13(10):2673. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102673

Chicago/Turabian Style

Treffeisen, Torben; Henk, Andreas. 2020. "Faults as Volumetric Weak Zones in Reservoir-Scale Hydro-Mechanical Finite Element Models—A Comparison Based on Grid Geometry, Mesh Resolution and Fault Dip" Energies 13, no. 10: 2673. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102673

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