Fractured Aquifers/Reservoirs

Fractured aquifers and reservoirs contain fluids that have always been challenging to explore and produce in a sustainable and efficient way. Fluids, in these kind of aquifers, are usually contained in a minimum portion of the rock (porosity < 5%) whereas permeability is very high and anisotropic. Furthermore, the petrophysical properties are very heterogeneously distributed and dependent on the scale of measurement. The main objective of this research direction is to characterize the distribution of fractures and the evolution of fault systems in different kinds of rocks and structural settings by means of detailed field mapping. The analysis of fracture systems at outcrop level allows to unravel their geometric relationships and to relate them to the regional and local stress state. Starting from this initial information and using methodologies such as optical microscopy, image analysis, SEM, numerical and analytic modeling, lab measurements, and field minipermeametry we aim to quantify the porosity, permeability and capillary pressure as well as their scale dependency in these kind of aquifers and reservoirs. Recent work has been focused on the effects that the evolution of faults has on fluid flow in high porosity siliciclastic and carbonate rocks (porosity > 15%) and on the kind of fractures and their petrophysical properties, which can be found in different carbonate rock types and stress regimes.