Institute of Petroleum Engineering


The BMFFFS Project (Behaviour and Modelling of Faults/Fractures/Fluids Systems) is one of a set of six research projects concerned with the theme of "Structurally Complex Reservoirs". This large, themed programme of research - involving projects conducted by a number of international research groups- was brokered by the Industry Technology Facilitator on behalf of its member companies. The BMFFFS Project began in Q2 of 2002 and will be completed in early 2005. The research team working on BMFFFS consists of scientists and engineers based at Heriot-Watt, Leeds, Texas A&M and Kent Universities.

The goal of BMFFFS is:

To make a step-change in the way that faults are considered in exploration and production strategies, by

  • Collating and consolidating the present understanding of fault architectures and properties
  • Developing new simulation approaches for calculating single- and multi-phase fluid flow in these complex regions, including a consideration of coupled geomechanical effects
  • Formulating a new geomechanical understanding of the faulting process, from the grain-scale to the development of fault arrays
  • Advancing our knowledge, and database, of fault-rock petrophysical properties
  • Creating and applying new workflows for incorporating these results into reservoir-scale analysis

The concept underpinning BMFFFS is that a consideration of the flow effects of faulting needs to be added to the normal analysis approach. Knowledge about the distribution of faults, and fault properties, can be obtained from several sources. Using appropriate simulation tools, the flow effects of faults can be determined for situations relevant to reservoir production processes, or to the faulting process itself. A key challenge is to develop practical ways to use this knowledge within industry workflows.


RDR logo click to see their home page, 5K

TAMU logo click to see their home page, 17K

University of Kent logo click to see their home page, 5K

Flow diagram showing  flow effects of faults, 11K

Reservoir Management is dependent on Flow Simulations, as well as other aspects not illustrated here. In complex reservoirs, Flow Simulation requires acknowledgement of two major elements. One element is the Background Geology, which is the focus of typical reservoir characterisation. The other element, and the focus of this project, is the role of Faults. The diagram illustrates the several ways by which we might predict or analyse the flow effects of faults.