Search site



Overview of FAULTPROP

This website summarizes the results from the FAULTPROP (Petrophysical properties of fault rocks) project, which was a joint industry project (JIP) undertaken by the University of Leeds, and sponsored by BHP, ConocoPhilips, Shell, Statoil and Wintershall.
The key aim of the FAULTPROP project is to develop An Atlas of the Petrophysical Properties of Fault Rocks. This will contain high quality measurements of the single and multiphase (relative permeability and capillary pressure) of fault rocks to enhance the ability of industry to predict fault-related fluid flow in petroleum systems. Key work elements include.
Each sponsor provides up to 20 fault rock samples and we have also collected samples from outcrop. The microstructure, absolute permeability at in situ stress as well as the Hg-injection pressures of all samples will be analyzed. The relative permeability and capillary pressure of around 50% of these will be measured.


Analysis undertaken

The FAULTPROP sponsors have so far provided ~30 fault rock samples from core. Around 10 samples have also been collected from oultcrop. It is expected that the number will double by the end of the project. Each sample will be subject to routine core analysis (RCA) and around 50% of these were then subject to special core analysis (SCAL). RCA analysis involves:

  • X-ray CT tomography;
  • Microstructural analysis using secondary electron microscopy (SEM),
  • Quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis (QXRD),
  • He porosity;
  • Hg-injection porosimetry;
  • Gas permeability vs confining pressure
  • Brine permeability vs confining pressure;

SCAL analysis involves:

  • Gas relative permeability measurement
  • Oil-water relative permeability measurement
  • Capillary pressure measurement.
  • Hg-injection analysis at stress

In addition, numerous experiments are being conducted to:

  • Assess the impact of capillary end effects on across fault flow.
  • Assess whether it is safe to use standard laboratory techniques for such highly heterogeneous samples.


The key deliverables from FAULTPROP include:

Atlas of Petrophysical Properties of Fault Rocks

This allows the user to search for samples according to variables such as clay content, diagenetic and stress history, location and stratigraphy. Individual webpages for each sample will be constructed and contain core/outcrop photographs, CT scans, stress vs permeability, Hg-injection, capillary pressure, relative permeability, mineralogy etc. The atlas also allows the user to download raw data from individual analyses.

Reports on specific results

We will write individual reports in specific results or petrophysical properties. These reports take two forms. The first are a series of “FAULTnotes”, which are 2-4 page summaries highlighting key points related to the subject area. The second are more detailed reports on individual aspects of the project. Key FAULTnotes that we expect to write include:

  • Overview of FAULTPROP
  • Stress sensitivity of absolute permeability
  • Impact of salinity on brine permeability
  • Impact of stress on Hg-injection results
  • Guidelines for fault rock analysis
  • Relative permeability of fault rocks
  • Implications of results for use of legacy fault rock databases.

Detailed reports

We will write detailed reports:

  • FAULTPROP: Project report
  • Petrophysical property analysis of fault rocks: recommended practise
  • The absolute permeability of fault rocks:
  • Relative permeability of fault rocks
  • Capillary pressure of fault rocks

Sponsor specific reports

This will include a detailed description and results from all samples analyzed for each sponsor.