22 NovEarth Science and Engineering Graduate SeminarCritically-Stressed Fractures And Shear Permeability in Naturally Fractured Formations
Critically-Stressed Fractures And Shear Permeability in Naturally Fractured Formations
  • Dr. Thomas Finkbeiner
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017
  • 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM
  • Lecture Hall 1 (2322), Engineering and Science Hall (Building 9)
2017-11-22T16:152017-11-22T17:15Asia/RiyadhCritically-Stressed Fractures And Shear Permeability in Naturally Fractured FormationsLecture Hall 1 (2322), Engineering and Science Hall (Building 9)Emmanuelle Sougrat

​Abstract: Naturally fractured reservoirs contain significant volumes of proven reserves. The ability to drain these reservoirs commonly relies on the ability to intersect hydraulically conductive fractures, to increase productivity, whilst avoiding premature water breakthrough. Natural fractures increasingly form an important role in recovery from conventional resources and unconventional hydrocarbon accumulations as well as heavy oil fields and tight gas reservoirs.

Many hydraulically conductive natural fractures can be characterized by a high ratio of shear to normal stress acting on their surface. This can occur naturally (by being optimally oriented in the present stress field) or in response to stimulation (when previously inactive natural fractures are being reactivated). As a result they fail in shear, naturally dilate, and can become hydraulically conductive comprising high permeability channels. We call these fractures "critically stressed".

This seminar presentation will cover the identification of critically stressed fractures along with the required mechanics, the impact of drainage, and stimulation. Numerous case studies and examples from the petroleum industry as well as from ongoing research will illustrate the most salient points relevant for this topic.

Bio: Thomas Finkbeiner Ph.D. (StanfordUniversity) joined King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in January of 2016 as Senior Research Scientist in the Ali Al Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC). His research focus is to investigate how in response to field/reservoir pore pressure changes the present day stress field varies and how this impacts flow from the affected formations. Monitoring, modeling, understanding and predictions/forecasting from these phenomena can be applied to a variety of reservoirs such as multi-scale fractured reservoirs, unconventional reservoirs, and brown fields.

Prior to joining KAUST, Thomas worked for over seventeen years in the petroleum industry mostly in the field of geomechanics and related applications. From 1998 to 2008 he was first employed by GeoMechanics International (GMI) where he managed and technically directed all of the company’s Europe, Africa, and Middle East operations. When Baker Hughes acquired GMI in 2008 he worked as Global Geomechanics Advisor with primary focus on 3D geomechanics and natural fractured reservoirs. In 2011 he was awarded Baker Hughes’ Subject Matter Expert for Geomechanics. From 2013 to 2015 Thomas worked for OMV in Vienna (Austria) as Senior Geomechanics Expert and was responsible for fostering geomechanical understanding and application in OMV E&P worldwide.


  • Emmanuelle Sougrat