Linking capillary and mechanical seal capacity mechanisms

Underschultz, J. R. (2017) Linking capillary and mechanical seal capacity mechanisms. Petroleum Geoscience, 23 1: 3-9. doi:10.1144/petgeo2016-032

Author Underschultz, J. R.
Title Linking capillary and mechanical seal capacity mechanisms
Journal name Petroleum Geoscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1354-0793
Publication date 2017-02-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1144/petgeo2016-032
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 1
Start page 3
End page 9
Total pages 7
Place of publication Bath, Avon United Kingdom
Publisher Geological Society Publishing House
Language eng
Abstract Mechanical fault reactivation is a mechanism where high fluid pressures generated within a fault zone can change the effective stress such that an optimally orientated fault segment will rupture. This style of strain has been recognized in three settings: (1) deep crustal locations at greenschist and higher-grade metamorphism with fluid generation; (2) active plate boundaries where tectonic stresses can result in seismicity; and (3) hydrocarbon column buoyancy pressure reactivation of critically stressed fault-bound traps. This paper examines category 3 in the context of mechanical fault reactivation and capillary processes. For water-wetting fault rock, mechanical reactivation may be reached prior to the capillary seal capacity. However, the non-wetting fluid cannot access the fault rock pore space until the hydrocarbon column height reaches the capillary threshold pressure. At the threshold pressure, the non-wetting fluid enters the fault rock imparting a buoyancy pressure in excess of the mechanical reactivation threshold causing rupture. This suggests that in certain circumstances the mechanical fault reactivation by buoyancy pressure is more accurately predicted by the capillary threshold pressure than mechanical reactivation pressure.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Coal Seam Gas
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Created: Tue, 14 Feb 2017, 11:38:51 EST by Jim Underschultz on behalf of Centre for Coal Seam Gas