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Fluids 2018, 3(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids3040070

Geomechanical Response of Fractured Reservoirs

1
Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology—Tehran Polytechnic (AUT), Tehran 15875-4413, Iran
2
Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
3
Associated Unit: Hydrogeology Group UPC-CSIC, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
5
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC-BarcelonaTech), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of CO2 Storage in Geological Formations)
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Abstract

Geologic carbon storage will most likely be feasible only if carbon dioxide (CO2) is utilized for improved oil recovery (IOR). The majority of carbonate reservoirs that bear hydrocarbons are fractured. Thus, the geomechanical response of the reservoir and caprock to IOR operations is controlled by pre-existing fractures. However, given the complexity of including fractures in numerical models, they are usually neglected and incorporated into an equivalent porous media. In this paper, we perform fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical numerical simulations of fluid injection and production into a naturally fractured carbonate reservoir. Simulation results show that fluid pressure propagates through the fractures much faster than the reservoir matrix as a result of their permeability contrast. Nevertheless, pressure diffusion propagates through the matrix blocks within days, reaching equilibrium with the fluid pressure in the fractures. In contrast, the cooling front remains within the fractures because it advances much faster by advection through the fractures than by conduction towards the matrix blocks. Moreover, the total stresses change proportionally to pressure changes and inversely proportional to temperature changes, with the maximum change occurring in the longitudinal direction of the fracture and the minimum in the direction normal to it. We find that shear failure is more likely to occur in the fractures and reservoir matrix that undergo cooling than in the region that is only affected by pressure changes. We also find that stability changes in the caprock are small and its integrity is maintained. We conclude that explicitly including fractures into numerical models permits identifying fracture instability that may be otherwise neglected. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractured reservoirs; thermal-hydro-mechanical (THM) coupled analysis; caprock integrity; fluid injection; cooling fractured reservoirs; thermal-hydro-mechanical (THM) coupled analysis; caprock integrity; fluid injection; cooling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zareidarmiyan, A.; Salarirad, H.; Vilarrasa, V.; De Simone, S.; Olivella, S. Geomechanical Response of Fractured Reservoirs. Fluids 2018, 3, 70.

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