The successful design and implementation of any improved oil recovery project in a fractured reservoir depends on an accurate characterization of the fracture system. This is especially true in a steam pilot project currently underway in the Yates Field of West Texas. This pilot will assess the economic viability of accelerating gravity drainage in the gas cap of the fractured San Andres reservoir. From the conceptual phase of the project through implementation and monitoring, fracture characterization in the pilot area has been critical to pilot design and success. Key decisions have depended on an accurate assessment of fracture density, orientation, flow capacity and connectivity to other portions of the reservoir. Many geologic and engineering methods have been employed to understand the fracture system. Flexure mapping, tracer testing, pressure interference testing and reservoir simulation were employed in the design phase of the project. Fluid sampling and passive microseismic monitoring have been employed to monitor the project. This paper will discuss each of these methods, field results, and key decisions that were based on the analyses.

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