A new 1D bed-scale model has been built to help model shale smear in interbedded sand–shale sequences using the shale smear factor (SSF). A smear envelope is generated by mapping each potential shale smear onto the fault plane employing five different shale smear geometries. Graphical outputs then focus on the cumulative length of the resultant smears and the remaining sand–sand juxtaposition windows in the predicted shale smear envelope. The smears are evaluated stochastically with lengths that are a randomized function of the estimated Vclay content of the source shale layers, allowing the smear pattern to change with each realization. A new fragmented smear mode is developed that allows discontinuous smears to be distributed randomly on the fault plane and can be used to modify the smear pattern as fault displacement increases. The model has been tested using well data. Results show that windows in the smear envelope are commonly present, and that their frequency and location are dependent on the smear placement model and sand–shale stacking pattern. Smear fragmentation leads to more windows being preserved. The 1D model can also assess the impact of geocellular upscaling on fault seal analysis. Upscaling reduces cross-fault sand connectivity due to the elimination of thin beds. Shale smear envelopes are also reduced in length as fewer shale beds are involved, even though layers are thicker. A fault may or may not appear more sealing dependent on the layer configuration and net-to-gross ratio (NTG). The model offers results that can inform input to fault seal evaluations and allows the effect of geomodel upscaling to be more closely interrogated.
- © 2017 The Author(s)