Abstract

Throughout the UAE and the wider region, several broadly E-W orientated structural lineaments are observed on seismic within the Cretaceous successions and are described as strike-slip faults. However, in the studied field, these features have not been readily observed in well data. Instead, networks of fractures and deformation features are present in core and borehole images. A study was carried out in an attempt to calibrate well and seismic data and to understand the relationship between the seismically-resolved faults and the fractures observed on core. This study focuses on a dataset from the north-east part of the field, which includes BHI images, cores, full 3D CT scans and conventional logs in four penetrations, three of which are horizontal, drilled through the faults; as well as 3D seismic data and relevant derived horizons and fault polygon interpretations.

The available data have been investigated in detail, with all structural features in core, circumferential CT scans and BHI images systematically classified using simple and reproducible descriptive schemes. All the structural features have been orientated using directional data from BHI. The understanding of the character and fill of the fractures observed in core has also been incorporated. A further calibration with seismic and integration of results with information from previous studies allowed a full description of the fracture networks, of their densities within and outside the potential fault corridors of the studied field, as well as an assessment of their potential for reactivation and their possible impact on localised formation compaction.

On the BHI images, several sub-vertical fractures have been identified, consisting mainly of mixed resistivity and resistive fractures, striking dominantly WNW-ESE. Particular zones along the wells have noticeably higher fracture densities, where features are organised in clusters; they are intercalated with zones where fractures are rarer. The clustering of fractures within fracture corridors are believed to be fault-related, subvertical and tabular fracture clusters that traverse an entire reservoir unit vertically and extend for several hundreds to thousands of feet laterally. These zones are believed to represent fracture corridors, which correlate with the structural lineaments observed on seismic.

The fracture corridor network in the study area shows a variable deformation signature at the different scales of observations, but consists mainly of sub-vertical (dominantly >60°) deformation bands (c.50% of the features identified) and partially-cemented fractures (c.25-40%). Some of these features show a small displacement and it is believed this scaled variation in deformation within the corridors accounts for the overall larger, but relatively minor displacement observed on seismic (c.10-40ft vertical throw and possibly up to c.500m cumulative strike-slip observed in seismic).

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