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Volume 2019, Article ID 2027510, 15 pages
Research Article

Effects of Different Penetration Patterns on a Fault during Underground Fluid Injection

1School of Geoscience and Technology, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China
2State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qi Li;

Received 4 September 2018; Revised 3 December 2018; Accepted 24 December 2018; Published 8 April 2019

Guest Editor: Victor Vilarrasa

Copyright © 2019 Xiaochen Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


At underground fluid injection sites with natural faults, understanding how to avoid the subsequent fault reactivation and induced seismicity plays a crucial role in the success of subsurface anthropogenic activities. In this work, with the objective of avoiding risky faults in site selection in the Shengli Oilfield, we investigated the faults that are usually encountered in the target demonstration zone; based on the geophysical observations of fault structures, we designed different fault tectonic scenarios to investigate the different penetration patterns of faults. We used the finite element-based numerical method to assess the influence of the effective lateral and vertical reservoir transmissivity in each fault penetration pattern. Our results indicate that when a permeable fault intersects into the target reservoir, it presents both barrier effect to reservoir transmissivity within the target reservoir and hydraulic connection between reservoirs. The effective lateral reservoir transmissivity is dominated by the barrier effect of the fault, and the effective vertical reservoir transmissivity is dominated by the hydraulic connection between reservoirs. Relatively impermeable faults with less contact with the target aquifer make higher effective lateral reservoir transmissivity and lower effective vertical reservoir transmissivity, which would mitigate the risk of caprock failure and the magnitude of the induced seismicity.