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Type: Journal article
Title: Defining structural permeability in Australian sedimentary basins
Author: Bailey, A.
King, R.
Holford, S.
Sage, J.
Hand, M.
Backé, G.
Citation: Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, 2015; 55:119-147
Publisher: Media Dynamics
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1326-4966
Statement of
A. Bailey, R. King, S. Holford, J. Sage, M. Hand, and G. Backé
Abstract: Declining conventional hydrocarbon reserves have triggered exploration towards unconventional energy, such as CSG, shale gas and enhanced geothermal systems. Unconventional play viability is often heavily dependent on the presence of secondary permeability in the form of interconnected natural fracture networks that commonly exert a prime control over permeability due to low primary permeabiliy of in situ rock units. Structural permeability in the Northern Perth, SA Otway, and Northern Carnarvon basins is characterised using an integrated geophysical and geological approach combining wellbore logs, seismic attribute analysis and detailed structural geology. Integration of these methods allows for the identification of faults and fractures across a range of scales (millimetre to kilometre), providing crucial permeability information. New stress orientation data is also interpreted, allowing for stress- based predictions of fracture reactivation. Otway Basin core shows open fractures are rarer than image logs indicate; this is due to the presence of fracture-filling siderite, an electrically conductive cement that may cause fractures to appear hydraulically conductive in image logs. Although the majority of fractures detected are favourably oriented for reactivation under in situ stresses, fracture fill primarily controls which fractures are open, demonstrating that lithological data is often essential for understanding potential structural permeability networks. The Carnarvon Basin is shown to host distinct variations in fracture orientation attributable to the in situ stress regime, regional tectonic development and local structure. A detailed understanding of the structural development, from regional-scale (hundreds of kilometres) down to local-scale (kilometres), is demonstrated to be of importance when attempting to understand structural permeability.
Keywords: Natural fractures; fracture networks; structural permeability; fracture permeability; secondary permeability; Australian basins; Otway Basin; Penola Trough; Carnarvon Basin; North Perth Basin; image logs; seismic attributes; remote sensing; fracture mapping
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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Australian School of Petroleum publications

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