The Joint Application of Diagenetic, Petrophysical and Geomechanical Data for Selecting Hydraulic Fracturing Candidate Zone


Reservoir Geomechanical Properties
Reservoir Petrophysical Properties
Candidate Zone Selection
Mechanical Earth Model

How to Cite

Bakhshi E, Shahrabadi A, Golsanami N, Seyedsajadi S, Liu X, Wang Z. The Joint Application of Diagenetic, Petrophysical and Geomechanical Data for Selecting Hydraulic Fracturing Candidate Zone: A Case Study from a Carbonate Reservoir in Iran . Int. J. Petrol. Technol. [Internet]. 2021 Oct. 12 [cited 2022 Aug. 12];8:55-79. Available from:


The more comprehensive information on the reservoir properties will help to better plan drilling and design production. Herein, diagenetic processes and geomechanical properties are notable parameters that determine reservoir quality. Recognizing the geomechanical properties of the reservoir as well as building a mechanical earth model play a strong role in the hydrocarbon reservoir life cycle and are key factors in analyzing wellbore instability, drilling operation optimization, and hydraulic fracturing designing operation. Therefore, the present study focuses on selecting the candidate zone for hydraulic fracturing through a novel approach that simultaneously considers the diagenetic, petrophysical, and geomechanical properties. The diagenetic processes were analyzed to determine the porosity types in the reservoir. After that, based on the laboratory test results for estimating reservoir petrophysical parameters, the zones with suitable reservoir properties were selected. Moreover, based on the reservoir geomechanical parameters and the constructed mechanical earth model, the best zones were selected for hydraulic fracturing operation in one of the Iranian fractured carbonate reservoirs. Finally, a new empirical equation for estimating pore pressure in nine zones of the studied well was developed. This equation provides a more precise estimation of stress profiles and thus leads to more accurate decision-making for candidate zone selection. Based on the results, vuggy porosity was the best porosity type, and zones C2, E2 and G2, having suitable values of porosity, permeability, and water saturation, showed good reservoir properties. Therefore, zone E2 and G2 were chosen as the candidate for hydraulic fracturing simulation based on their E (Young’s modulus) and ν (Poisson’s ratio) values. Based on the mechanical earth model and changes in the acoustic data versus depth, a new equation is introduced for calculating the pore pressure in the studied reservoir. According to the new equation, the dominant stress regime in the whole well, especially in the candidate zones, is SigHmax>SigV>Sighmin, while according to the pore pressure equation presented in the literature, the dominant stress regime in the studied well turns out to be SigHmax>Sighmin>SigV.


Van Buchem F, et al. Regional stratigraphic architecture and reservoir types of the Oligo-Miocene deposits in the Dezful Embayment (Asmari and Pabdeh Formations) SW Iran. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 2010; 329(1): p. 219-263.

Bize-Forest N, et al. Carbonate reservoir rock typing and the link between routine core analysis and special core analysis. in International symposium of the society of core analysts. 2014.

Xu C, Heidari Z, Torres-Verdin C. Rock classification in carbonate reservoirs based on static and dynamic petrophysical properties estimated from conventional well logs. in SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. 2012; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Ali SA, et al. Diagenesis and reservoir quality. Oilfield Review, 2010; 22(2): p. 14-27.

Qiang L, et al. Petrophysical characteristics and logging evaluation of asphaltene carbonate reservoirs: A case study of the Cambrian Longwangmiao Formation in Anyue gas field, Sichuan Basin, SW China. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2017; 44(6): p. 941-947.

Kumar M, et al. Petrophysical evaluation of well log data and rock physics modeling for characterization of Eocene reservoir in Chandmari oil field of Assam-Arakan basin, India. Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, 2018; 8(2): p. 323-340.

Jia Y, et al. Laboratory geomechanical and petrophysical characterization of Longmaxi shale properties in Lower Silurian Formation, China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2021; 124: p. 104800.

Siddiqui N.A, et al. Sedimentological characterization, petrophysical properties and reservoir quality assessment of the onshore Sandakan Formation, Borneo. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2020; 186: p. 106771.

Yin S, et al. Experimental investigation of the petrophysical properties, minerals, elements and pore structures in tight sandstones. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2020; 76: p. 103189.

Golsanami N, et al. NMR-based study of the pore types' contribution to the elastic response of the reservoir rock. Energies, 2021; 14(5): p. 1513.

Golsanami N, et al. Fractal Properties of Various Clay Minerals Obtained from SEM Images. Geofluids, 2021; 2021.

Dong H, et al. A method to construct high-precision complex pore digital rock. Journal of Geophysics and Engineering, 2018; 15(6): p. 2695-2703.

Dong X, et al. How N2 injection improves the hydrocarbon recovery of CO2 HnP: An NMR study on the fluid displacement mechanisms. Fuel, 2020; 278: p. 118286.

Gaddipati M, et al. An Integrated Reservoir Modeling Case Study to Simulate Multi-Stage Hydraulically Fractured Horizontal Wells, based on Seismic, Petrophysical and Geological data for Pinedale Tight Gas Fluvial Reservoir. in Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, 20-22 July 2020; 2020. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC).

Iqbal O, Ahmad M, Abd Kadir A. Effective evaluation of shale gas reservoirs by means of an integrated approach to petrophysics and geomechanics for the optimization of hydraulic fracturing: A case study of the Permian Roseneath and Murteree Shale Gas reservoirs, Cooper Basin, Australia. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2018; 58: p. 34-58.

Richards G, et al. Hydraulic Fracturing in Heterogenous Reservoirs; Modelling at Petrophysical vs. Geomechanical Resolution. in 54th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. 2020; American Rock Mechanics Association.

Shalaby MR. Petrophysical characteristics and hydraulic flow units of reservoir rocks: Case study from the Khatatba Formation, Qasr field, North Western Desert, Egypt. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2021; 198: p. 108143.

Bakhshi E, Golsanami N, Chen L. Numerical modeling and lattice method for characterizing hydraulic fracture propagation: a review of the numerical, experimental, and field studies. Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, 2020: p. 1-32.

Bakhshi E, et al. Lattice numerical simulations of hydraulic fractures interacting with oblique natural interfaces. International Journal of Mining and Geo-Engineering, 2019; 53(1): p. 83-89.

Bakhshi E, et al. Lattice numerical simulations of lab-scale hydraulic fracture and natural interface interaction. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 2019; 52(5): p. 1315-1337.

Golsanami N, et al. Relationships between the geomechanical parameters and Archie's coefficients of fractured carbonate reservoirs: a new insight. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 2020: p. 1-25.

Liu X, et al. Numerical simulation of non-planar fracture propagation in multi-cluster fracturing with natural fractures based on Lattice methods. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 2019; 220: p. 106625.

Bakhshi E, et al. Hydraulic fracture propagation: analytical solutions versus Lattice simulations. Journal of Mining and Environment, 2019; 10(2): p. 451-464.

Eltom HA, et al. Effect of bioturbation on petrophysical properties: Insights from geostatistical and flow simulation modeling. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2019; 104: p. 259-269.

Okon AN, Adewole SE, Uguma EM. Artificial neural network model for reservoir petrophysical properties: porosity, permeability and water saturation prediction. Modeling Earth Systems and Environment, 2020: p. 1-18.

Higgins-Borchardt S, Sitchler J, Bratton T. Geomechanics for unconventional reservoirs, in Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources Handbook. 2016, Elsevier. p. 199-213.

Wendt AS, et al. Three-dimensional mechanical earth modeling. 2013, Google Patents.

Fattahpour V, et al. Building a mechanical earth model: a reservoir in Southwest Iran. in 46th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. 2012; American Rock Mechanics Association.

Algarhy A, Dubey A. Uncertainty Reduction in Constructing the Mechanical Earth Model Using Artificial Neural Network: Case Study from Egypt's Western Desert. in 53rd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. 2019; American Rock Mechanics Association.

Cuervo S, Adachi J, Lombardo E. Integration of 1D and 3D Mechanical Earth Models in Oil Shale Plays. an Example From the Vaca Muerta Formation (Argentina). in 52nd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. 2018; American Rock Mechanics Association.

JU W, et al. Stress Distribution in the Upper Shihezi Formation from 1D Mechanical Earth Model and 3D Heterogeneous Geomechanical Model, Linxing region, Eastern Ordos Basin, Central China. Acta Geologica Sinica‐English Edition.

Li Q, et al. Geomechanical Characterization and Modeling in the Montney for Hydraulic Fracturing Optimization. in SPE Canada Unconventional Resources Conference. 2020; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Shahbazi K, Abdideh M, Hadipoor M. Modelling hydraulic fracturing process in one of the Iranian southwest oil reservoirs. Applied Earth Science, 2017; 126(3): p. 108-117.

Sirat M, Ahmed M, Zhang X. Predicting hydraulic fracturing in a carbonate gas reservoir in Abu Dhabi using 1D mechanical earth model: uncertainty and constraints. in SPE Middle East Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition. 2015; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Keshavarzi R, Jalili S. Building a mechanical earth model and its application in a geomechanical analysis of hydraulic fracture behaviour in naturally fractured reservoirs. European journal of environmental and civil engineering, 2014; 18(3): p. 336-357.

Afsari M, et al. Mechanical Earth Model (MEM): an effective tool for borehole stability analysis and managed pressure drilling (Case Study). in SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference. 2009; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Afsari M, et al. Using drilling and logging data for developing 1d mechanical earth model for a mature oil field to predict and mitigate wellbore stability challenges. in International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in China. 2010; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Adegbamigbe T, Olamigoke O, Lawal K. Application of a 1-D Mechanical Earth Model for Wellbore Stability Analysis in a Shallow-Water Field, Niger Delta. in SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition. 2020; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Bakhshi E, Shahrabadi A, Golsanami N. Cavings' role in representing the type of wellbore failures in fractured reservoirs, in Fifth International Conference on Oil, Gas, Petrochemical & HSE. 2021: Hamedan, Iran.

Kidambi T, Kumar GS. Mechanical earth modeling for a vertical well drilled in a naturally fractured tight carbonate gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2016; 141: p. 38-51.

Zain-Ul-Abedin M, Henk A. Building 1D and 3D Mechanical Earth Models for Underground Gas Storage-A Case Study from the Molasse Basin, Southern Germany. Energies, 2020; 13(21): p. 5722.

Heydarabadi FR, et al. Criteria for selecting a candidate well for hydraulic fracturing. in Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition. 2010; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Zoveidavianpoor M, Samsuri A, Shadizadeh SR. Development of a fuzzy system model for candidate-well selection for hydraulic fracturing in a carbonate reservoir. in SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition. 2012; OnePetro.

Burenina IV, et al. Improving methodological approach to measures planning for hydraulic fracturing in oil fields. Записки Горного института, 2019; 237.

Hashemi A, Shadizadeh SR, Zoveidavianpoor M. A local computerized multi-screening of vast amount of data to select hydraulic fracturing candidates in Iranian carbonate oil fields. International Journal of Computer Applications, 2012; 975: p. 8887.

Zoveidavianpoor M, Samsuri A, Shadizadeh SR. Fuzzy logic in candidate-well selection for hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas wells: A critical review. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 2012; 7(26): p. 4049-4060.

Hashemi A, Shadizadeh SR, Zoveidavianpoor M. Selection of hydraulic fracturing candidates in iranian carbonate oil fields: a local computerised screening of zone and well data. in International Petroleum Technology Conference. 2013; OnePetro.


Rahimpour‐Bonab H, et al. Palaeo‐exposure surfaces in Cenomanian-santonian carbonate reservoirs in the Dezful embayment, SW Iran. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 2013; 36(4): p. 335-362.

Esrafili-Dizaji B, et al. Characterization of rudist-dominated units as potential reservoirs in the middle Cretaceous Sarvak Formation, SW Iran. Facies, 2015; 61(3): p. 14.

Nasseri A, Mohammadzadeh MJ, HashemTabatabaee S. Evaluating Bangestan reservoirs and targeting productive zones in Dezful embayment of Iran. Journal of Geophysics and Engineering, 2016; 13(6): p. 994-1001.

Bordenave M, Hegre J. Current distribution of oil and gas fields in the Zagros Fold Belt of Iran and contiguous offshore as the result of the petroleum systems. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 2010; 330(1): p. 291-353.

Choquette PW, Pray LC. Geologic nomenclature and classification of porosity in sedimentary carbonates. AAPG bulletin, 1970; 54(2): p. 207-250.

James NP, Choquette PW. Diagenesis 9. Limestones-the meteoric diagenetic environment. Geoscience Canada, 1984.

Heydari E, Moore CH. Burial diagenesis and thermochemical sulfate reduction, Smackover Formation, southeastern Mississippi salt basin. Geology, 1989; 17(12): p. 1080-1084.<1080:BDATSR>2.3.CO;2

Flugel E. Microfacies of carbonate rocks: analysis, interpretation and application. 2004: Springer Science & Business Media.

Tucker M. Geological background to carbonate sedimentation. Carbonate sedimentology, 1990;

Tucker M. Sedimentary Petrology-An Introduction to the Origin of Sedimentary Rocks. − Blackwell. Scientific publication, London, 2001.

Whitaker FF, Xiao Y. Reactive transport modeling of early burial dolomitization of carbonate platforms by geothermal convection. AAPG bulletin, 2010; 94(6): p. 889-917.

Moore CH. Carbonate diagenesis and porosity. 1989: Elsevier.

Bathurst RG. Carbonate sediments and their diagenesis. 1972: Elsevier.

Moore CH, Wade WJ. The nature and classification of carbonate porosity, in Developments in sedimentology. 2013, Elsevier. p. 51-65.

Esteban M, Taberner C. Secondary porosity development during late burial in carbonate reservoirs as a result of mixing and/or cooling of brines. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 2003; 78: p. 355-359.

Narongsirikul S, Mondol NH, Jahren J. Acoustic and petrophysical properties of mechanically compacted overconsolidated sands: part 1-experimental results. Geophysical Prospecting, 2019; 67(4): p. 804-824.

Horsrud P. Estimating mechanical properties of shale from empirical correlations. SPE Drilling & Completion, 2001; 16(02): p. 68-73.

Archer S, Rasouli V. A log based analysis to estimate mechanical properties and in-situ stresses in a shale gas well in North Perth Basin. Petroleum and Mineral Resources, 2012; 21: p. 122-135.

Davies DH, Davies O, Horsfall OI. Determination of Geomechanical Properties of a typical Niger Delta Reservoir Rock Using Geophysical Well Logs. Davies, Dein Honour, 2019: p. 222-233.

Golsanami N, et al. Relationships between the geomechanical parameters and Archie's coefficients of fractured carbonate reservoirs: A new insight. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects Journal, 2020: p. 1-24.

Al-Qahtani MY, Zillur R. A mathematical algorithm for modeling geomechanical rock properties of the Khuff and Pre-Khuff reservoirs in Ghawar field. in SPE Middle East Oil Show. 2001; Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Fjar E, et al. Petroleum related rock mechanics. 2008: Elsevier.

Eaton BA. Graphical method predicts geopressures worldwide. World Oil;(United States), 1976; 183(1).

Khan N, Hanif M. Abnormal Formation Pressure in the Sulaiman Province, Pakistan: An Insight into Factor Affecting Reservoirs in a Compressional Strike-Slip Region. Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 2020; 45(6): p. 4853-4870.

Tingay MR, et al. Origin of overpressure and pore-pressure prediction in the Baram province, Brunei. Aapg Bulletin, 2009; 93(1): p. 51-74.

Mazzullo S. Overview of porosity evolution in carbonate reservoirs. Kansas Geological Society Bulletin, 2004; 79(1-2): p. 1-19.

Tingay MR, et al. Present-day stress and neotectonics of Brunei: Implications for petroleum exploration and production. AAPG bulletin, 2009; 93(1): p. 75-100.

Sen S, Kundan A, Kumar M. Post-drill analysis of pore pressure and fracture gradient from well logs and drilling events-An integrated case study of a high pressure exploratory well from Panna East, Mumbai Offshore Basin, India. in Pore pressure and geomechanics from exploration to abandonment, AAPG geosciences technology workshop, Perth, Australia, June. 2018.

Ganguli SS, Sen S. Investigation of present-day in-situ stresses and pore pressure in the south Cambay Basin, western India: Implications for drilling, reservoir development and fault reactivation. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2020; 118: p. 104422.

Josh M, et al. Laboratory characterisation of shale properties. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2012; 88: p. 107-124.

Li J, et al. Quantitative evaluation on the elastic property of oil-bearing mudstone/shale from a Chinese continental basin. Energy Exploration & Exploitation, 2015; 33(6): p. 851-868.

Darvish H, et al. Geo-mechanical modeling and selection of suitable layer for hydraulic fracturing operation in an oil reservoir (south west of Iran). Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2015; 111: p. 409-420.

Perumalla S, et al. Role of Geomechanics in appraisal of a deep tight gas reservoir: A case history from the Amin formation in the Sultanate of Oman. in SPE Middle East Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition. 2011; OnePetro.

Xiao Y, et al. Dynamic and static combination method for fracture-vug unit division of fractured-vuggy reservoirs. Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 2018; 43(5): p. 2633-2640.

Baniasadi H, Rashidi F. A triple-porosity radial composite model for two phase well test analysis of volatile oil in fractured-vuggy reservoirs. Scientia Iranica, 2021.

Donaldson E, Alam W, Begum N. Hydraulic fracturing explained. Hydraulic Fracturing Explained: Evaluation, Implementation, and Challenges, 2013: p. 1-22.

Guo J, et al. Comprehensive study of fracture flow characteristic and feasibility of hybrid volume stimulation technique in tight fractured carbonate gas reservoir. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2019; 174: p. 362-373.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Elham Bakhshi, Abbas Shahrabadi, Naser Golsanami, Shahrzad Seyedsajadi, Xiaoqiang Liu, Ziquan Wang