Abstract

We analyze the feedback loop between production and the fracturing of a reservoir. We focus on a case of hydrocarbon recovery (Lacq, France), well constrained both in terms of production parameters and fracturing pattern, as a result of a 20-year monitoring of induced seismicity. Production, which plays the role of a stressing rate for the rocks surrounding the depleted zones, appears to have profound impact on the fracturing pattern of the reservoir, that ranges from a localized damage with relatively large fractures, to a diffuse damage with relatively small fractures, for high and low values of the production, respectively. As the fracturing pattern has been recently proposed to have far-reaching importance for the permeability and the increase of productivity of the reservoir through time, this study suggests the possibility to use production as a knob, so as to tune the response of the reservoir to a level of most efficient fracturing, in terms of hydrocarbon recovery. A careful monitoring of seismic indexes may help pinpoint the ongoing type of fracturing, and adjust production accordingly. This paper provides new routes for taking into account fracturing impact in production objectives.

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