A Semianalytical Model for Simulating Fluid Flow in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs With Nonhomogeneous Vugs and Fractures

Wu, Yonghui (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Cheng, Linsong (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Huang, Shijun (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Fang, Sidong (Sinopec Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute, Beijing) | Jia, Pin (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Wang, Suran (China University of Petroleum, Beijing)



Carbonate reservoirs comprise fractures, vugs, and cavities. Vugs have a large contribution to reserves of oil and gas, and the fractures provide effective paths for fluid flow in the reservoir. The triple-porosity (TP) model is an effective conceptual method for capturing rock matrix and vugs and the microfractures connecting them. However, these fractures and vugs are always nonhomogeneous. Macrofractures and vugs cannot be handled with a continuum scheme because of their low density and high conductivity.

In this approach, the TP conceptual model is implemented to characterize rock matrix, microvugs, and fractures. To capture the heterogeneity of fractures and vugs, macrofractures and vugs are represented explicitly with the discontinuum model. The boundaries of macrovugs and macrofractures are discretized into several elements. The boundary-element method (BEM) is used to handle flow into macrofractures and vugs. The finite-difference method is applied to handle flow within macrofractures. The flow within macrovugs is assumed to be pseudosteady state.

With a simple discretization of the boundaries of macrovugs and macrofractures, the proposed model is shown to efficiently simulate the behavior of fractured carbonate reservoirs with heterogeneity. The computational accuracy is demonstrated using an analytical model and numerical simulation. On the basis of the proposed model, the effect of the heterogeneity of macrofractures and vugs on pressure-transient behavior is analyzed. The results show that macrofractures and vugs cannot be handled with triple-continuum models analytically. There will be several “dips” on the derivative of the pressure curve if macrovugs are discretely handled. Also, discretely handling the fractures and vugs will make the calculated dimensionless pressure and the derivative pressure lower than those calculated with the triple-continuum models. After increasing the porosity of macrovugs, the pressure and the derivative will go down in the flow regimes dominated by macrovugs. The conductivity of macrofractures has a great impact on almost all the flow regimes except for boundary-dominated flow. Finally, a field case is used to show the application of the proposed semianalytical model.

The novelty of the new model is its ability to model the transient behavior of carbonate reservoirs with nonhomogeneous fractures and vugs. Furthermore, it provides an efficient method for characterizing the heterogeneity of multiscaled fractures and vugs.