Summary

Fractures are common features in many well-known reservoirs. Naturally fractured reservoirs include fractured igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks (matrix). Faults in many naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs often have high-permeability zones, and are connected to numerous fractures that have varying conductivities. Furthermore, in many naturally fractured reservoirs, faults and fractures can be discrete (rather than connected-network dual-porosity systems).

In this paper, we investigate the pressure-transient behavior of continuously and discretely naturally fractured reservoirs with semianalytical solutions. These fractured reservoirs can contain periodically or arbitrarily distributed finite- and/or infinite-conductivity fractures with different lengths and orientations. Unlike the single-derivative shape of the Warren and Root (1963) model, fractured reservoirs exhibit diverse pressure behaviors as well as more than 10 flow regimes. There are seven important factors that dominate the pressure-transient test as well as flow-regime behaviors of fractured reservoirs: (1) fractures intersect the wellbore parallel to its axis, with a dipping angle of 90° (vertical fractures), including hydraulic fractures; (2) fractures intersect the wellbore with dipping angles from 0° to less than 90°; (3) fractures are in the vicinity of the wellbore; (4) fractures have extremely high or low fracture and fault conductivities; (5) fractures have various sizes and distributions; (6) fractures have high and low matrix block permeabilities; and (7) fractures are damaged (skin zone) as a result of drilling and completion operations and fluids. All flow regimes associated with these factors are shown for a number of continuously and discretely fractured reservoirs with different well and fracture configurations. For a few cases, these flow regimes were compared with those from the field data. We performed history matching of the pressure-transient data generated from our discretely and continuously fractured reservoir models with the Warren and Root (1963) dual-porosity-type models, and it is shown that they yield incorrect reservoir parameters.

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