UK-based Hurricane Energy was working on a fracture modeling project to
inform future well placement decisions for its operations in the West of
Shetland. The company specializes in exploring and appraising fractured
The area's complex tectonic history, and the logistical difficulties in
imaging faults within the basement, meant that traditional fracture-prediction
methods proved too challenging to apply. In addition many fault trends are
present, and with little well control these are difficult to relate to the
known fracture orientations.
Hurricane Energy's exploration team was keen to optimize its 3D model
and better understand reservoir faults to deliver the level of structural
detail required for accurate fracture prediction. The model needed to closely
represent regions of high-fracture density and preferred fracture
Natural fracture prediction
After meeting with Schlumberger, Hurricane Energy decided to use the
Fracture Network Modeling module in the Petrel E&P software platform as a
geomechanical solution for advanced fracture prediction.
The natural fractures prediction (NFP) process is a form of advanced
geomechanical forward modeling, incorporating the 3D iterative boundary element
method to identify likely fracture orientation and density, based on well
fracture data and the fault model.
In stochastic modeling, properties are often
used as spatial probability distributions for the placement of geological
features, including channels, porosity distributions, and discrete fracture
planes. Using the Fracture Network Modeling module, the major= outputs from the
NFP forward modeling are input as fracture probability properties for more
accurate distribution. This geomechanical approach increases confidence for
future well placement decisions in highly fractured locations.