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Faults control:

  1.  Whether there is or is not hydrocarbon in a trap.
  2.  How much hydrocarbons.
  3.  How these hydrocarbons are distributed:
    • Vertically among a series of stacked sands.
    • Distributed within single sand among a series of fault compartments.

Here are many reasons why you should be doing routine fault seal analysis:

  1. Dry Holes (Leaking faults can bleed a trap dry). Dry Holes (Faults can create empty reservoirs & empty compartments within the producing field). Dry Holes (Sealing faults can keep a trap from being charged). Dry Holes (Faults can channel migrating hydrocarbons away from your prospect)
  2. Limited Reserves (Fault dependent spill points can limit hydrocarbon columns to less than expected.  In addition, column heights are limited by gouge composition, fault displacement, and structural style). Limited Reserves (Faults can restrict hydrocarbons to only a few of the many potential reservoir intervals)
  3. Compartmentalization (Faults control the degree of communication between fault compartments)
  4. New Plays (Purely fault dependent traps with no structurally independent closure are common AND they're more common in some areas than others)
  5. New Prospects (Hydrocarbons may be trapped along faults down-dip of dry holes). New Prospects (Hydrocarbons may be trapped along faults down-dip of known accumulations & they may be larger columns)
  6. Field Unitization (Are you giving away reserves in a highly fault-compartmentalized field)
  7. Residual Reserves (A fault that is partially sealing may trap residual reserves that remain after hydrocarbons are produced from the leaking segments).
  • High resolution 3D structural model
  • Detailed facies model 
  • Petrophysical analysis




  • Smear Gouge Analysis
  • Clay Smear Potential
  • Smear Gouge Ratio
  • Shale Gouge Ratio
  • Smear Factor


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