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Fault Seal Analysis

RMS™ Fault Seal Analysis allows geologists and reservoir engineers to quickly and easily analyze sealing effects occurring in fault regions. Data representing the degree of sealing can be generated and used as a basis for seal analysis or as input to a flow simulator. Uncertainty in fault sealing effects is properly handled and can be integrated into overall workflows. Characterization of sealing effects can significantly improve the quality and speed of a simulation history match.


Faults are typically included in reservoir models with a geometrical description, including displacement and fault juxtaposition. Fault sealing effects caused by shale smear or fault gouge are often neglected, or simply handled manually as transmissibility multipliers by the reservoir engineer in a history matching process. This is frequently inadequate and the engineer is then required to modify these by trial and error to improve the history match. By applying fault seal analysis techniques, both the quality of the reservoir model and the history match can be dramatically improved.

Faults can significantly impact fluid flow within the reservoir, and correct fault fluid flow characterization is often critical to obtaining a good history match. Fault transmissibility multipliers are among the factors which have historically been applied by reservoir engineers in an often slow process to get a history match. The history matching process can be significantly accelerated and improved in many reservoirs using RMS fault seal analysis.

Faults also play an important part in the ultimate recovery and sweep efficiency within the reservoir. Accurate characterization of fault properties ensures that the field development plan and well locations are optimized for recovery and sweep efficiency.

RMS Fault Seal is part of the RMS workflow, which has been designed as a truly integrated reservoir interpretation and modeling solution. No other single application brings this degree of integration across so much of the reservoir characterization workflow. Multiple disciplines share not only data, but also a single application.

Fault Seal Features

  • Prediction of fault sealing effects with industry standard models
  • Generates fault transmissibility multipliers
  • SGR curves from fault property databases can be used as input
  • Advanced visualization of fault zone properties
  • Results can be exported to external flow simulators or used in integrated streamline or black oil simulations
  • Truly integrated and easy to use

RMS Fault Seal allows users to choose the most appropriate fault zone permeability equation for their field and data. A choice between the Manzocchi et al. (1999) or Sperrevik et al. (2002) model is available.

SGR Curves from Fault Property Databases

As an alternative to the pre-defined equations for fault zone permeability, information from fault property databases can be used where available. This offers the opportunity to use directly measured or analog data, improving the quality of the results over standard published relationships.

Advanced Visualization

All fault zone properties can be visualized on the faulted cell faces. These are easily displayed and can be filtered to show only the faults of interest. The results for all cells and part cells can be displayed for both hanging wall and footwall cell faces.

Shale Gouge Ratio (left) and Fault Permeability (right) visualised on fault faces


Accurate Grid Based Calculations

RMS maintains a close link between the structural model and the 3D grid, and this can be utilized in the fault seal modelling. Geometric calculations involved in fault seal modelling are performed using the structural model, giving a highly accurate result for all types of faults. Fault properties are calculated for all grid cells adjacent to user-selected faults. Multiple fault seal jobs can be defined and executed, containing data set-up for individual or multiple faults. The jobs can be executed in workflows, where uncertainty in input parameters can also be investigated.

Flexible Output

The primary output for reservoir simulation is the fault transmissibility multipliers. Additional information, such as transmissibility, shale gouge ratio and fault zone permeability, can also be generated for QC and analysis.

RMS Flow Simulation and RMS Streamline Analysis 

Results from fault seal analysis can be used directly in RMS integrated Flow Simulation and Streamline Analysis solutions. This allows the impact of the results to be quickly analyzed and used directly within the model for development planning and recovery optimization.

Export to Industry Simulators

Results can be easily exported to common industry simulators, ensuring seamless integration into existing workflows. Final results from simulation can also be imported for further analysis and visualization, alongside the original reservoir model.