Discrete fracture modeling of deep tight sandstone reservoir based on convergent multi-information—a case study of KX gas field in Tarim Basin

  • Jianwei FengEmail author
  • Lunjie Chang
  • Libin Zhao
  • Xizhe LiEmail author
Original Paper


With low porosity and permeability, heavy heterogeneity, as well as frequent interlayers, fracture networks act as important flow channels for tight sandstone reservoir and influence the regular oil and gas production in the development stage. With this mind, new and effective modeling and simulation methods are needed to be developed to guide discrete fracture network modeling (DFN) which integrate convergent multi-source information including geology, well-logging, seismic, CT, and dynamic data at different scales. In this paper, we present an entropy weight method fusing a wide variety of geological information to build precise intensity body of different scale fracture networks and use both deterministic modeling and stochastic modeling approaches to establish 3-D simulations of fracture reservoir facies in a tight sandstone reservoir. Finally, a DFN model and a fracture property model are built by means of parameter field equivalence. Since various factors considered, different influencing parameters are taken into account in this approach. It leads to an explicit and multi-scale modeling of fracture, which provides a valid workflow to increase confidence in predicting the generation of fractures and their spatial distribution of deep tight sandstone reservoirs.


Multi-information Deep tight sandstone Discrete fracture network Controlling factors Entropy weight method 



The CNPC Tarim Oilfield Corp kindly supplied seismic and drilling data as well as the FMI data in the Kuqa depression. This research was financially supported by the National Oil and Gas Major Project (2016ZX05047-003, 2016ZX05014002-006), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41572124), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (17CX05010).


  1. Ackermann RV, Schlische RW, Withjack MO (2001) The geometric and statistical evolution of normal fault systems: an experimental study of the effects of mechanical layer thickness on scaling laws. J Struct Geol 23(11):1803–1819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alber M, Heiland J (2001) Investigation of a limestone pillar failure part 2: stress history and application of fracture mechanics approach. Rock Mech Rock Eng 34(3):187–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen MB, Vincent SJ (1999) Structural features of northern Tarim Basin: implications for region tectonics and petroleum traps: discussion. AAPG Bull 83:1279–1283Google Scholar
  4. Barenblatt GI, Zheltov YP, Kochina IN (1960) Basic concepts in the theory of seepage of homogeneous liquids in fissured rocks. J Appl Math 24:1286–1303Google Scholar
  5. Bauer JF, Meier S, Philipp SL (2015) Architecture, fracture system, mechanical properties and permeability structure of a fault zone in Lower Triassic sandstone, Upper Rhine Graben. Tectonophysics 647-648:132–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonnet E, Bour O, Odling N, Davy P, Main I, Cowie P, Berkowitz B (2001) Scaling of fracture systems in geological media. Rev Geophys 39:347–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cai SY, Yin HW, Li CS, Jia D, Wang W, Chen ZX, Wei DT (2016) Technology of strain analysis and fracture prediction based on DEM numerical simulation. Geol J China Univ 22(1):183–193. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chiles JP (1988) Fractal and geostatistical methods for modeling of a fracture networks. Math Geol 20:631–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coles SG (2001) An introduction to statistical modeling of extreme values. Springer-Verlag, London, pp 45–73Google Scholar
  10. Colorni A,Dorig M, Maniezzo V (1991) Distributed optimization by ant colonies. Proc of European Conf oil Artificial Life, pp 134–142.Google Scholar
  11. Dai JS, Feng JW, Li M (2011) Discussion on the extension law of structural fracture in sand-mud interbed formation. Earth Science Front 18(2):277–283Google Scholar
  12. Degraff M (2005) Linguists' most dangerous myth: the fallacy of creole exceptionalism. Lang Soc 34(4):533–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dershowitz B, LaPointe P, Eiben T, Wei LL (2000) Integration of discrete feature network methods with conventional simulator approaches. Society of Petroleum Engineers Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering 3:165–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Finkbeiner T, Barton CA, Zoback MD (1997) Relationships among in-situ stress, fractures and faults, and fluid flow: Monterey formation, Santa Maria Basin, California. AAPG Bull 81(12):1975–1999Google Scholar
  15. Friedman M, Perkins RD, Green SJ (1970) Observation of brittle-deformation features at the maximum stress of westerly granite and solenhofen limestone. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences & Geomechanics Abstracts 7(3):297–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gringarten EJ (1998) Geometric modeling of fracture networks. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University, Stanford, California, vol 59-06, p 115.Google Scholar
  17. Groshong RH (2001) Forced folds and fractures. Tectonophysics Amsterdam 334(1):57–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gross MR, Eyal Y (2007) Throughgoing fractures in layered carbonate rocks. Geol Soc Am Bull 119(11):1387–1404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gudmundsson A, Simmenes TH, Larsen B, Philipp SL (2010) Effects of internal structure and local stress on fracture propagation, deflection, and arrest in fault zones. J Struct Geol 32:1643–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guiton MLE, Sassi W, Leroy YM, Gauthier BDM (2003) Mechanical constraints on the chronology of fracture activation in folded Devonian sandstone of the western Moroccan anti-atlas. J Struct Geol 25(8):1317–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holland M, Gent HV, Bazalgette L, Yassir N, Strating EHH (2011) Evolution of dilatant fracture networks in a normal fault—evidence from 4D model experiments. Earth Planet Sci Lett 304(3–4):399–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hooker JN, Laubach SE, Marrett R (2017) Microfracture spacing distributions and the evolution of fracture patterns in sandstones. J Struct Geol:1–14Google Scholar
  23. Huang ZG, Zhai CB, Xu HJ (2002) A correlation of deformation characteristics between the depression and the southern Tarim depression in the Tarim Basin. Pet Geol Exp 24:502–505Google Scholar
  24. Huang BC, Piper JD, Peng ST, Liu T, Li Z, Wang QC, Zhu RX (2006) Magnetostratigraphic study of the Kuche depression, Tarim Basin, and cenozoic uplift of the tian shan range, western China. Earth Planet Sci Lett 251(3):346–364Google Scholar
  25. Jenkins C, Ouenes A, Zellou A, Wingard J (2009) Quantifying and predicting naturally fractured reservoir behavior with continuous fracture. AAPG Bull 93(11):1597–1608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jia CZ (2004) Characteristics of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic structures and petroleum occurrence in the Tarim Basin. Petroleum Industry Press, Beijing, p 229Google Scholar
  27. Jiu K, Ding WL, Huang WH, You SC, Zhang YQ, Zeng WT (2013) Simulation of paleotectonic stress fields within Paleogene shale reservoirs and prediction of favorable zones for fracture development within the Zhanhua depression, Bohai Bay basin, East China. J Pet Sci Eng 110:119–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ju W, Sun WF (2016) Tectonic fractures in the lower cretaceous Xiagou formation of Qingxi oilfield, Jiuxi Basin, NW China. Part two: numerical simulation of tectonic stress field and prediction of tectonic fractures. J Pet Sci Eng 146:626–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ju W, Hou GT, Huang SY, Sun XW, Shen YM, Ren KX (2014) Constraints and controls of faults related folds on the development of tectonic fractures in sandstones. Geol J China Univ 20(1):105–113Google Scholar
  30. Kazemi H, Merrill LS, Porterfield KI, Zeman PR (1976) Numerical simulation of water-oi1 flow in naturally fractured reservoirs. SPE 16(6):317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lamarche J, Lavenu APC, Gauthier BDM, Guglielmi Y, Jayet O (2012) Relationships between fracture patterns, geodynamics and mechanical stratigraphy in carbonates (south-East Basin, France). Tectonophysics 581:231–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lang XL, Guo ZJ (2013) Fractured reservoir modeling method based on discrete fracture network mode. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis 1–6.Google Scholar
  33. Larsen CJ, Ortiz M, Richardson CL (2009) Fracture paths from front kinetics: relaxation and rate Independence. Arch Ration Mech Anal 193(3):539–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Laubach SE (1997) A method to detect fracture strike in sandstone. Am Assoc Pet Geol Bull 81(4):604–623Google Scholar
  35. Laubach SE, Gale JFW (2006) Obtaining fracture information for low-permeability (tight) gas sandstones from sidewall cores. J Pet Geol 29(2):147–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Laubach SE, Olson JE, Gross MR (2009) Mechanical and fracture stratigraphy. AAPG Bull 93(11):1413–1426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Laubach SE, Lamarche J, Gauthier BDM, Dunne WM, Sanderson DJ (2018) Spatial arrangement of faults and opening-mode fractures. J Struct Geol 108:2–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Li JW, Li Z, Qiu NS, Zuo Y, Yu JB, Liu JQ (2016) Carboniferous-Permian abnormal thermal evolution of the Tarim basin and its implication for deep structure and magmatic activity. Chin J Geophys 59(9):3318–3329. (in Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Liu ZR, Yan DP, Li SB (2014) Types and controlling factors of fractures for the third Member of Xujiahe Formation in Dayi structure, West Sichuan Depression. Fauij-Block Oil Gas Field 21(1):28–31Google Scholar
  40. Liu C, Zhang RH, Zhang HL, Wang JP, Mo T, Wang K, Zhou L (2017a) Genesis and reservoir significance of multi-scale natural fractures in Kuqa foreland thrust belt, Tarim Basin, NW China. Pet Explor Dev 44(3):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Liu JS, Ding WL, Yang HM, Wang RY, Yin S, Li A, Fu FQ (2017b) 3D geomechanical modeling and numerical simulation of in-situ stress fields in shale reservoirs: a case study of the lower Cambrian Niutitang formation in the Cen'gong block, South China. Tectonophysics 712-713:663–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Marten K (2014) Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, boyars, and the persistence of tradition by J. Arch Getty. Polit Sci Q 129(3):518–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mckinnon SD, Barra IGDL (1998) Fracture initiation, growth and effect on stress field: a numerical investigation. J Struct Geol 20(12):1673–1689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Medeiros JR, Duarte Queirós SM (2016) A large deviation analysis on the near-equivalence between external and internal reservoirs. Phys A: Stat Mech Appl 451:84–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mi LD, Jiang HQ, Li JJ (2014) Investigation of shale gas numerical simulation method based on discrete fracture network model. Nat Gas Geosci 25(11):1795–1803Google Scholar
  46. Nelson, RA (1985) Geologic analysis of naturally fractured reservoirs. Gulf, Houston, pp40–66Google Scholar
  47. Nelson RA (2001) Geologic analysis of naturally fractured reservoirs, 2nd edn. Gulf Professional Publishing, Boston, p 332Google Scholar
  48. Odling NE, Gillespie PA, Bourgine B, Castaing C, Chiles JP, Christensen NP, Fillion E, Genter A, Olsen C, Thrane L, Trice R, Aarseth E, Walsh J, Watterson JJ (1999) Variations in fracture system geometry and their implications for fluid flow in fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs. Pet Geosci 5:373–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Olson J, Yuan Q, Jon H, Peggy R (2001) Constraining the spatial distribution of fracture networks in naturally fractured reservoirs using fracture mechanics and Core measurements. Society of Petroleum Engineers 257(1):36–45Google Scholar
  50. Prodanovic M, Davis JS (2013) Numerical simulation of diagenetic alteration and its effect on residual gas in tight gas sandstones. Transport in Porous Media 96(1):39–62Google Scholar
  51. Qi JF, Chen SP, Yang Q, Yu FS (2008) Characteristics of tectonic deformation within transitional belt between the Junggar Basin and the northern Tianshan Mountain. Oil & Gas Geol 29(2):252–260Google Scholar
  52. Qin QR, Su PD (2006) Classification and prediction of structural fractures types. Nat Gas Ind 26(10):33–36 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  53. Rijken and Cooke (2001) Role of shale thickness on vertical connectivity of fractures: application of crack-bridging theory to the Austin Chalk, Texas. Tectonophysics 337(1–2):117–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sanz PF, Pollard DD, Allwardt PF, Borja RI (2008) Mechanical models of fracture reactivation and slip on bedding surfaces during folding of the asymmetric anticline at Sheep Mountain, Wyoming. J Struct Geol 30:1177–1191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Savage HM, Shackleton JR, Cooke ML, Riedel JJ (2010) Insights into fold growth using fold-related joint patterns and mechanical stratigraphy. J Struct Geol 32:1466–1475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shcherbakov R, Turcotte DL (2003) Damage and self-similarity in fracture. Theor Appl Fract Mech 39(3):245–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Singhal BBS, Gupta RP (2010) Applied hydrogeology of fractured rocks 2010 (hardback). Springer, Netherlands, pp 115–138Google Scholar
  58. Soleimani M (2017) Naturally fractured hydrocarbon reservoir simulation by elastic fracture modeling. Pet Sci 14:286–301. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stearns DW (1972) Friedman M. Reservoir in fractured rocks. In: King RE (ed) Stratigraphic oil and gas fields—classification, exploration methods, and case histories. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, pp 1682–106.Google Scholar
  60. Tang C (2013) Progress in fracture characterization and prediction. Reviews 31(21):73–79. (In Chinese Abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tuckwell GW, Lonergan L, Jolly RJH (2003) The control of stress history and flaw distribution on the evolution of polygonal fracture networks. J Struct Geol 25(8):1241–1250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Underwood CA, Cooke ML, Simo JA, Muldoon MA (2003) Stratigraphic controls on vertical fracture patterns in Silurian dolomite, northeastern Wisconsin. AAPG Bull 87(1):121–142Google Scholar
  63. Vitale S, Dati F, Mazzoli S, Ciarcia S, Guerriero V, Iannace A (2012) Modes and timing of fracture network development in poly-deformed carbonate reservoir analogues, Mt. Chianello, southern Italy. J Struct Geol 37:223–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Volland S, Kruhl JH (2004) Anisotropy quantification: the application of fractal geometry methods on tectonic fracture patterns of a Hercynian fault zone in NW Sardinia. J Struct Geol 26(8):1499–1510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wan YH, Liu YW, Ouyang WP, Han GF, Liu WC (2016) Numerical investigation of dual-porosity model with transient transfer function based on discrete-fracture model. Appl Math Mech -Engl Ed 37(5):611–626. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wang JH, Wang H, Chen HH, Yan DT, Zhao ZX (2005) Stratigraphic record in a whole episode of foreland basin tectonic evolution: the lower Cretaceous in Kuqa depression. Geol Sci Technol Inf 25(6):31–36Google Scholar
  67. Wang QC, Zhang ZP, Lin W, Song WJ, Guo H (2004) Neogene deformation characteristics of Kuqa-Tianshan basin-rangen system. Sci China Ser D: Earth Sci 34(z1):45–55 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  68. Wang JH, Zou CN, Jin JQ, Zhu RK (2011) Characteristics and controlling factors of fractures in igneous rock reservoirs. Pet Explor Dev 38(6):708–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wang K, Dai JS, Feng JW (2014) Study on reservoir mechanical parameters in foreland thrust belt of Tarim basin. J Chin Univ Petrol (Ed Nat Sci) 38(5):25–33Google Scholar
  70. Wang Q, Wu C, Sun Y (2015a) Evaluating corporate social responsibility of airlines using entropy weight and grey relation analysis. J Air Transp Manag 42:55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wang W, Yao J, Sun H, Song WH (2015b) Influence of gas transport mechanisms on the productivity of multi-stage fractured horizontal wells in shale gas reservoirs. Pet Sci 12:664–673.
  72. Wang PT, Cai MF, Ren FH, Li CH, Yang TH (2017) A digital image-based discrete fracture network model and its numerical investigation of direct shear tests. Rock Mech Rock Eng 50(7):1801–1816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Warren JE, Root PJ (1963) The behavior of naturally fractured reservoirs. SPE 3(3):245–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Wilson CE, Aydin A, Karimi-Fard M, Durlofsky LJ, Sagy A, Brodsky E, Kreylos O, Kellogg LH (2011) From outcrop to flow simulation: constructing discrete fracture models from a LIDAR survey. AAPG Bull 95:1883–1902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wu HQ, Pollard DD (2002) Imaging 3-D fracture networks around boreholes. AAPG Bull 86(4):593–603Google Scholar
  76. Xue YM, Xia DL, Su ZF, Wu SW, Ji SZ (2014) Fracture modeling at different scales based on convergent multi-source information. J South Petrol Univ (Sci Technol Ed) 36(2):57–63. (in Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Yang ZG, Tang J, Zhang YP (2012) Study of quantitative evaluation method for heterogeneity by entropy weight method--case study of Chang 8 reservoir of Xiasiwan in Erdos Basin. J Geol 36(4):373–378 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  78. Yin CB, Li YC, Wang SB, Xiong YR, He F, Qin L (2017) Methodology of hydraulic fracture network prediction in shale reservoirs and its application. Nat Gas Ind 37(4):60–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zeng LB, Wang GW (2005) Distribution of earth stress in Kuqa thrust belt, Tarim Basin. Pet Explor Dev 32(3):59–60 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  80. Zeng LB, Qi JF, Wang YX (2007) Origin type of tectonic fractures and geological conditions in low-permeability reservoirs. Acta Pet Sin 28(4):52–56Google Scholar
  81. Zeng LB, Wang HJ, Gong L, Liu BM (2010) Impacts of the tectonic stress field on natural gas migration and accumulation: a case study of the Kuqa Depression in the Tarim Basin, China. Mar Pet Geol 27:1616–1627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zhang ZP, Wang QC, Wang Y (2006) Brittle structure sequence in the Kuqa Depression and its implications to the tectonic paleostress. (Earth Science) J China Univ Geosci 31:310–316Google Scholar
  83. Zhang C, Zhu DY, Luo Q, Liu LF, Liu DD, Yan L, Zhan YZ (2017) Major factors controlling fracture development in the Middle Permian Lucaogou Formation tight oil reservoir, Junggar Basin, NW China. J Asian Earth Sci 146:279–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zhao WT, Hou GT (2017) Fracture prediction in the tight-oil reservoirs of the Triassic Yanchang Formation in the Ordos Basin, northern. China Pet Sci 14:1–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zhao WT, Hou GT, Sun XW (2013) Influence of layer thickness and lithology on the fracture growth of clastic rock in East Kuqa. Geotecton Metallog 37(4):603–610Google Scholar
  86. Zhao XM, Liu L, Hu JL, Zhou XJ, Li M (2014) The tectonic fracture modeling of an ultra-low permeability sandstone reservoir based on an outcrop analogy: a case study in the Wangyao Oilfield of Ordos Basin, China. Pet Sci 11:363–375. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Zheng CF, Hou GT, Lu Y (2016) An analysis of Cenozoic tectonic stress fields in the Kuqa depression. Geological Bulletin of China 35(1):130–138Google Scholar
  88. Zhou W (1998) Evaluation method for fractured oil and gas reservoir. Sichuan Science and Technology Publishing House, pp 61–86.Google Scholar
  89. Zhou XG, Cao CJ, Yuan JY (2003) The research actuality and major progresses on the quantitative forecast of reservoir fractures and hydrocarbon migration law. Adv Earth Sci 18(3):398–404Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeosciencesChina University of PetroleumQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Petrochina Tarim Oilfield CompanyResearch Institute of Exploration and DevelopmentKorlaChina
  3. 3.Langfang BranchChina Petroleum Exploration and Development InstituteBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations