Reliable fracture characterization is essential for efficient field development of tight carbonate reservoirs. A comprehensive campaign of core based fracture analysis was carried out on more than 7,000ft of deep tight carbonate (over 14500ft TVD and 3pu avg. porosity and 0.1 mD avg. perm) cores of Kuwait, spread over a number of wells covering a large area of over 1000sq km.

The aim of the study was to provide inputs for a detailed structural analysis of the area, with the help of reorientation of cores focusing on the geometrical and structural characteristics of each well. The reorientation procedure used a special core Goniometry process, which permits a totally hands-free 3D digitization of all planar and linear features. Reorientation of the cores is established using either the deviation data from the wells or through comparison with image log data.

In addition to the detailed integrated description of type, size, aperture and filling of fractures, a porosity/permeability model was generated after calculation of fracture frequency. By calculating the orientation and value of the permeability vectors, an indication of optimum direction of drilling was established for each well/area.

The natural fracture network obtained with open, partially-open and cemented fractures, together with induced stress-release fractures analysis, contributed to a better understanding of tectonic history and present-day stress in the studied area. A field synthesis map highlighted the main direction of all types of fractures and an actual stress map was worked out by compiling all directions of the maximum horizontal stress observed in the wells and oriented by the petal and centreline induced fractures.

The integration of the results with analyses of image log data, well log correlation data and seismic data provided critical information about the reservoir properties.

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