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Fracture Analysis Using Borehole Image Logs Petrom Technical Day Bucharest, 26-27th September, 2007

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Jurry van Doorn Geology Domain Champion Schlumberger

With some examples from E. Etchecopar, S. Luhti, Ph. Montaggioni, O. Serra & E. Standen

Fracture Detection & Conventional Openhole Logs I

Dipmeter Fracture Anomalies vugs, pyrite & shale clasts Borehole breakout stress field, not fractures Resistivity anisotropy stress field Sonic Cycle Skipping Could be caused by Gas Waveforms attenuation with excentralization. Variable Density log chevrons at washouts Caliper Washouts & breakouts stress field not fractures NGT High Uranium cemented fractures, organic shales

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Fracture Detection & Conventional Openhole Logs II

Resistivity Laterolog invasion effects, borehole corrections MicroResistivity anomalies - washouts Anomalous high induction readings in resistive fractures cemented fractures didnt produce Density Anomalous corrections tool rotation, incipient breakout. PEF anomalies in barite mud micro rugosity.

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Most anomalies are associated with borehole rugosity effects, problems with bad mud systems, correlation to fractures in core is often related to drilling induced / coring induced fractures, orientation cannot be determined

Available Borehole Image Logging Techniques

Resistivity Changes of Borehole Wall
Water Based Mud

Oil Based Mud

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Wireline Resistivity Tools LWD


Acoustic Impedance changes of Borehole wall Density Changes of Borehole wall Optical image using down hole camera


Nuclear Optical
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Requires clear fluid in the borehole

Optical Imaging
Optical imaging is the oldest borehole imaging technique. Optical images allow for detection (orientation) and classification
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The first devices were optical cameras lowered in the borehole. Resolution: typically high Depth of investigation: none Azimuthal coverage: 360 degrees Main problem: opaque nature of borehole fluid, which prevents common use in open hole for geological applications

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FMI* Measurement Principle

Upper electrodes

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Mass insulated sub


(SHDT pad)

The FMI measurement principle use passive focussing Lower electrodes around the measurement electrode. FMI* = Fullbore Formation MicroImager
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Borehole Image Logs


Image logs correspond to virtual outcrops in which sedimentary and tectonic features can be observed. They can be accurately oriented thus allowing for the measurement of bedding and fracture orientations High-resolution resistivity measurements also allow for quantification of textures, fractured zones and facies over long intervals.

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Core presentation

Unrolled image of a fault

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OBMI*=Oil-Base Mud MicroImager Measurement

AC voltage applied between electrodes A and B AC current I generated in formation Resulting V measured between paired buttons C and D Ohms law, R=kV/I, gives calibrated Rxo measurement Five measurements per pad

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OBMI2 for Increased Borehole Coverage

34 32




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17 15


1 ft

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OBMI2: Double Coverage => Double Borehole Geometry Data

UBI* = Ultra-sonic Borehole Imager

UBI sub

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Acoustic pulse-echo scan Transducer rotates at 7.5 rps 180 azimuthal samples (2 deg. Interval) Transit time image & amplitude image Vertical Resolution 0.2-0.4 in. (5mm-1cm) Logging speed: 850 ft/hr (low res.) 425 ft/hr (high res.)
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Transducer frequency: 250 Khz (low res.) - 500 KHz (high res.).

Can be used in water and oil-based mud

UBI Measurement Principle

Focused Transducer Wall Borehole

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Transit Time
UBI signal


First echo amplitude

Transit time of first echo: distance = speed in mud x Transit time / 2 => Transit Time image (borehole radii) First echo amplitude => amplitude image
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Naturally Fractured Reservoirs I

Fractures form an interface with the rock matrix which is many times greater than provided by the borehole. As most fractures are tensional in nature, they are perpendicular to bedding and terminate on shales and porous layers which are more ductile. Note two orthogonal directions of fracturing Absence of fracturing in porous sands underlying carbonates Spacing is more or less constant Fracture density increases towards edge of outcrop
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Fractures also frequently occur in corridors!

Naturally Fractured Reservoirs II

Fracture length horizontally (strike) is far greater than height vertically (dip). Fractures are the result of deformation of the rocks and therefore, deformation and folding precedes fracturing. Due to release of stress, fractures are far more abundant and extensive at the surface (outcrop and unconformities) than at depth and some fracture orientations in outcrop will seldom be seen open at reservoir depth (watch out for geological studies that relate outcrop fracture density to the subsurface.). Tensional fractures will group onto two orthogonal directions of strike and the open set will be sub-parallel to the principal far-field stress direction.
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Natural Fracture Systems

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Before/After Mini-Frac Job

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En-echelon Induced Fractures

A carbonate section with stylolites and drilling induced fractures. Often these drilling-induced fractures are classified as drilling enhanced natural fractures because they appear to have an apparent dip relative to the borehole. This may in fact be due to a tilted stress field orientation rather than due to micro joints in the rock that have been partially opened by the drilling process.
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Natural Fractures from Borehole Images



Transit time



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1. Tight non conductive cement (Calcite, Quartz)


2. Tight conductive cement (Pyrite)

3. Soft conductive cement (Clay)

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Fractured Reservoir Characterisation

Parameters that can be extracted from electrical borehole images:

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Fracture depth Fracture typology (natural open or cemented, or induced) Fracture orientation (dip and azimuth) Information about type and degree of cementation Fracture net distribution, fracture length per unit volume Fracture density Mutual relationship Relationship to structures Fracture relationship to bed thickness Fracture aperture, porosity, permeability Present day stresses

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Open Fracture Types: Carbonate Reservoir

F r a c tu r e C la ss Im a g e E x p r e ssio n

S o lu tio n -E n h a n c e d F ra c tu re s

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From S.Luthi

P la n a r F ra c tu re s B e d d in g -C o n fin e d F ra c tu re s W id e C o n d u c tiv e Z o n e s B re c c ia te d Z o n e s In d u c e d F ra c tu re s

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Electrically Resistive Fracture (Mineralised)

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Electrically Resistive Fracture (Mineralised)

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Halo effect around a mineralised fracture in a Canadian Shale

Mineralised fractures, Saudi Arabia

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Role of cemented fractures ?

5 mm

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Open Fractures in Vertical well, Saudi Arabia

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Electrically conductive fractures are the expression of open fractures in a predominantly vuggy dolomite interval. Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia
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Sub-vertical Conductive, Widely Open Fracture in a Horizontal Well, Saudi Arabia

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6-8 inches

Total loss of mud circulation was observed at this depth. This Sub-vertical 6-8 inches wide conductive feature most probably corresponds to a large open fracture and less likely to a fault. Jurassic Limestone of Saudi Arabia.

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Leached Dolomite in High-K Reservoir, Saudi Arabia

Total loss circulation was observed at X775 ft. Note the large washout in interval X774-X775 ft interpreted as a high permeability leached dolomite bed. The steep conductive event seen at X775.7 ft on the FMI image possibly is either a minor fault or more likely a large open fracture that probably favored fluids circulation and is probably accountable for the leaching of this dolomite bed. Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia
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Stylolite, Saudi Arabia

Highly conductive and uneven surface surrounded by a high resistivity zone on each side @ X487.5 ft. This feature is best interpreted as a stylolite caused by pressure dissolution and cementation due to the vertical overburden stress. This plane acts as a horizontal Note permeability barrier. below the stylolite the presence of two conductive (probably open) fractures that enhance the permeability in the direction o their strike (NE-SW). Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia
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Drilling-Induced Fractures, Saudi Arabia

Mud density and overpressure are the probable causes of these induced fractures. Note that they are preferably located in the tight beds. The fracture strike corresponds to the direction of the maximum in situ horizontal stress (ENE-WSW).
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Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia.

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Both Breakouts & Induced Fractures, Saudi Arabia

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induced Fracture


h H
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Lower Permian cross-bedded sandstone Saudi Arabia


Relationship Litho-facies vs.Fracturing, Saudi Arabia

Tight fractured & bedded dolomite intercalated in a porous limestone. Note that the limestone beds are not affected by the fractures. Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia

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limeston e Dolomite
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Influence of Formation Facies on Fracturing

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No Bioturbation Fractured

FMI image
Bioturbated No fractures

Daedalus bioturbation at the top of the Banquette Fm (unit III-2 of the Ordovician) (unit III-2 of the Ordovician)

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Fracture Distribution

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Stress Perturbation in the Vicinity of a Fault

Depleted zone: widely open fractures

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Highly stressed zone

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From V. Auzias

Influence of Layering on Fracture Distribution

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Fracture spacing vs layer thickness Mean spacing

(modified from Bouroz 1990)


Thickness 5 10 15m

From V.Auzias et al 1998

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Fracture Density

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The true length of fracture (the sum of visible segments) by surface unit is a much better indicator than the number of fractures by length of well.

Fracture Density
There are two available fracture density calculations. The raw fracture density is the number of fractures per foot or meter selected along the borehole. The corrected fracture density is the number of fractures
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per foot or meter selected along a line perpendicular to the fracture plane.

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Fracture Aperture Calculation

Description: As a button electrode approaches a fracture, which is filled with mud or other fluid of resistivity, Rm, an increased current will begin to flow because of the presence of this low resistivity anomaly. This increased current will continue to flow until the electrode is far enough away from the fracture that is no longer affected by the fracture. For the above reason, a fracture, which is physically thinner than 0.1 mm, may have an electrical image, which appears to be an inch or more wide. Obviously it is impossible to resolve directly a fracture using a sensor button, which is many times the size of the fracture. There is however, an indirect method, which provides the solution. From measurements and mathematical simulation, we know the response of the electrical image tool to fractures filled with fluids of different resistivities. Further, we know that the fracture aperture is proportional to the sum of the increased current flow.
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Fracture Aperture from Electrical Images

Empirical formula from Luthi & Souhait (1990):
Excess current
A Tool current Button resistivity

W=c. W=c.A c.A.Rm .Rxo

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W Rxo Rm

Assumptions: infinite fracture completely open fracture conductive material filling the fracture is drilling mud Limitations: same response if fracture sealed with conductive material such as pyrite or clay aperture calculation affected by fluids (hydrocarbon bearing zones vs water bearing zones)

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Fracture Aperture Calculation from Electrical Images

Fracture Aperture can have a big impact on hydrocarbon production
Bbl/day 1000
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1 0 .1 .2 .3 Aperture (mm)

Fracture Aperture can be estimated from conductive fractures on FMI/FMS resistivity images
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Two Types of Fracture Aperture

Two calculations of fracture aperture are available. The first, mean aperture is simply the average width of the fracture along its length. The second, hydraulic aperture is the cubic mean of the fracture width. The term hydraulic is used since this method is proportional to fluid flow through the fracture. The mean aperture provides only information about the physical size of the fracture opening. A comparison of flow capacities of different fractures is possible with the hydraulic apertures but not with the mean apertures. Hence, hydraulic aperture values are displayed as aperture channels.

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Fracture Porosity
Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary Definition: A type of secondary porosity produced by the tectonic fracturing of rock. Fractures themselves typically do not have much volume, but by joining preexisting pores, they enhance permeability significantly. In exceedingly rare cases, non-reservoir rocks such as granite can become reservoir rocks if sufficient fracturing occurs. As discussed, in Schlumberger we measure fracture porosity from electrical images using a propriety algorithm developed by S. Luthi & Ph. Souhait (1990). This algorithm is implemented in GeoFrames Borview module. It provides the fracture area (fracture trace length exposed to the borehole X aperture). To calculate the exact fracture volume, you would require fracture length (height and lateral extent). However, these parameters are based on modeling and can be obtained through constructing proper fracture models and by well testing.
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Fracture Porosity

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Scaling the Borehole Image using BorScale

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Scaling the Borehole Image using BorScale

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Fracture Assessment using BorView

The aperture trace should show up as multi colored (or at least red and pink) and should not be a smooth line (should be somewhat wiggly). The trace should correspond with the fracture that it was computed for (in this case, Large Open Fracture. The Scale for the trace is a fixed logarithmic scale (10-5 101) giving values of: 0.1 - 1 microns = purple 1 - 10 microns = red 10 - 100 microns = yellow 100 - 1000 microns = green 1000 -10 000 microns = light blue 10 000 - 100 000 microns = dark blue (if the default of cm is used for your small length).
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BorView Fracture Outputs

FVPA Apparent fracture porosity: porosity of a given length of borehole due to fracture aperture(s) FVAH Average hydraulic electrical fracture aperture: Cube root of the mean of the cubes of the
individual apertures along the fracture trace averaged over a given borehole length

FVA Average fracture electrical aperture: Mean if the individual apertures along the fracture trace
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averaged over a given borehole length

FVDA Apparent fracture density: umber of fractures in a given length of borehole (linear fracture

FVTL Areal trace length: Cumulative fracture trace length seen in a given area of borehole wall
(over a given borehole length)

FVDC Corrected fracture density: Apparent fracture density corrected for orientation of borehole
relative to the fractures

FCNB Cumulative Number of Fracture: number of fractures in set counted from the bottom (1) to
the top (1+n) of the well bore

FCAP Cumulative mean aperture: sum of the mean apertures added from the bottom (0) to the top
(0+n) of the well bore

FCAH Cumulative mean hydraulic aperture: sum of the mean hydraulic apertures added from the
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bottom (0) to the top (0+n) of the well bore

Example Fracture Output Logs

PVPA Apparent fracture porosity: porosity of a
given length of borehole due to fracture aperture(s)

FVAH Average hydraulic electrical fracture

aperture: Cube root of the mean of the cubes of the individual apertures along the fracture trace averaged over a given borehole length
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FVDC Corrected fracture density: Apparent

fracture density corrected for orientation of borehole relative to the fractures

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Types of Intersection Between Fracture Sets

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Dimensions of Fractures Parallel or Perpendicular to Bedding?

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Fracture length in a layer

Deduced from the ratio complete/interrupted sinusoids in a horizontal well

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Fracture Dimension
x borehole diameter 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Interval with 95% of confidence 0 Modified from JP . Delfiner (personnal communication) min max medium

In this particular example 6 truncated/223 complete = 0.027 Fracture length= 120 times the borehole diameter

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Truncated/complete fracture ratio

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Anisotropy due to Cemented Fractures in Horizontal Well

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M Av

unsaturated bed
Av = spacing average

Cemented Fractures Schmidt Plot

500m Fault zone

M/Av = .56

Cemented Fractures Strike Stereogram 53 JvD 26-SEP-2007

Fracture Modeling Vertical Cross-Section

Jurassic Carbonate of Saudi Arabia
Conductive Fract. Density

UTMN profile Density 1419 of Conductive

Fractures along the wellbore in a sub-horizontal well
1000 2000 3000 ft
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ft 0



FVDC (1/ft)




Bedding (stick mode)


Density of Conductive fractures Gamma-Ray


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Stoneley Fracture Permeability

BHC Energy attenuation
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Open fracture

Chevron pattern

Preliminary results: Recording affected by bad well conditions & LCM Open fractures at interface shale/sand More frac identified in shale than in sand (LCM effect?) Further interpretation to be carried on along with DSI crossed dipole mode

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Stoneley & FMI example: Fracture Permeability


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FMI sees a conductive fracture: is it open or clay-filled?

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ing ngo Dow ct ion e ref l


Fracture Analysis using FMI & Stoneley

Identification of the location and the orientation of the fractures that most contribute to the reservoir permeability Selection of the intervals to test with MDT

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Chevron pattern indicate energy losses of Stoneley waves in front large open fracture

Fractures can provide an interface with the rock matrix which is many times greater than that provided by the borehole. They can therefore play an important role in the productivity of low permeability formations, yet some porosity in the rock is required. Fractures often behave as chaotic fractals and then they cannot be predicted with any certainty. Direct measurement is the only way to confirm the presence of fractures and mathematical extrapolation of fracture density through the reservoir is often wrong. Open fractures can also have a detrimental effect, e.g. when they extend into the water zone. Healed fractures act as barriers to cross-flow in the reservoir. Electrical borehole images are currently the best available openhole logs for detailed fracture detection, orientation and classification. To further evaluate fracture networks sonic logging techniques and productivity tests can be applied.
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Enhanced interpretation techniques are now available to also extract textural information from electrical borehole image logs. This textural information can be combined with other logs to create a morphological facies classification.
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