New techniques for characterizing naturally fractured reservoirs are presented. Fundamental fracture units defined from geologic analyses are identified, and their corresponding permeability tensors analytically derived. The integration and synthesis of different fracture units provide realistic and mathematically tractable conceptual models for the analysis of naturally fractured reservoirs. A technique for modelling more complex fracture systems is also developed to stochastically simulate the fracture geometry based on the probability distributions of fracture characteristics. The permeability tensor distribution of the simulated fracture system is then calculated by a numerical method. The combination of these two techniques constitutes a comprehensive methodology for a realistic and quantitative characterization of naturally fractured reservoirs.

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