Arbeitsbericht NAB 13-06

Self-sealing of faults and fractures in argillaceous formations: Evidence from the petroleum industry

This expert report on "Self-sealing of faults and fractures: evidence from the petroleum industry" was elaborated by a team of distinguished experts from oil&gas industry, consisting of Prof. Quentin Fisher (CiPEG, Leeds), Dr. Frans Kets (formerly Shell Research/Rijswijk, now CiPEG/Leeds) and Dr. Anthony Crook (Rockfield Software Ltd./Swansea). The study reviews information collected by the petroleum industry that can be used to elucidate how faults and fractures in shale-rich sequences affect fluid flow over geological times. The collected information includes empirical evidence from reservoir exploration, detailed case studies, conceptual frameworks and examples of model applications on fault sealing. It is worth mentioning that the terminology in petroleum industry may differ from the definitions and notions which are used in the field of radioactive waste disposal. Moreover, the considered phenomena and processes cannot be transferred absolutely from reservoir applications to the conditions which are met in the vicinity of a geological repository for radioactive waste. It will be the aim of complementary in-depth studies to explore the value of the available experience from reservoir engineering towards the needs of radioactive waste disposal.

This report was thoroughly reviewed by Prof. Martin Mazurek (University of Berne), Dr. Silvio Giger (Nagra) and Mr. Bill Lanyon (Fracture Systems Ltd./St. Yves). Their valuable comments are highly appreciated.