UBC Undergraduate Research

The Role of Mechanical Stratigraphy in Fracture Intensity and Distribution in the Mississippian Turner Valley Formation: An Experimental Evaluation Wittstock, Morgan


The purpose of this thesis is to study the relationship between composition and texture on rock strength and fracture geometry in the Mississippian Turner Valley Formation. Samples from the three major units of the Mississippian Turner Valley Formation, the Mt1, Mt2 and Mt3, were deformed using the large sample deformation rig and mechanical strength was determined. Experimental data as well as microscopic and macroscopic observations were compared to natural fracture data from the Jumping Pound West Reservoir. Results were also compared to permeability data from core samples in order to contrast deformation style with fracture connectivity. Dolomitic samples from the Mt1 and Mt3 were found to be the strongest as well as fracture the most favourably with respect to fluid flow. Stronger samples were also found to correlate with high permeability within the core. Applying the study results will enable us to improve existing fracture models within the Jumping Pound West Reservoir and better predict regions of fluid flow within fractured reservoirs. Understanding mechanical strength in the reservoir will also provide insight into placing hydrofractures in order to maximize well performance in oil and gas reservoirs.

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