Our services include consulting on fractured reservoir problems and strategies, including fracture characterizations and analyses based on core, image logs, outcrops, and aerial photography. We also provide field trips, classes, workshops, webinars and lectures that provide an overview of fracture types and principles based on our 50-plus years of fracture studies. Dr. Lorenz also lectures on the importance of the interactions between geoscience and the oil and gas industry, the development of the science of geology and various aviation topics.

1. Core: Fracture Characterizations and Analyses

An outline and detailed examples of typical fracture core reports are available to clients; please contact us for additional information. A core report can contain analyses such as the differentiation between induced and natural fractures, the determination of natural fracture types and spacings, estimates of the three-dimensional fracture distributions, determinations of the fracture orientations relative to the in situ stresses, and assessments of vertical and lateral fracture permeability. Core-handling, marking, sampling and analysis protocol for natural fractures is downloadable as a pdf; CoreProtocol.pdf .

List of selected analyses and data we can provide from an ideal core:
  • Determination of fracture types and origins
  • Differentiation between natural and induced fractures
  • Fracture distributions and orientations
  • Fracture development, spacing
  • Fracture effects on reservoir plumbing
  • Image-log calibrations: relating fractures in core to fractures in image logs
  • Vertical, horizontal, or inclined cores
  • Indicators of in situ stresses
  • Dynamics of fracture permeability due to reservoir pressure changes
  • New or archived core; oriented and un-oriented core
  • Predict hydraulic fracture azimuths
  • Fracture permeability
  • Coring protocols and best practices
  • Work flows for assessing fractured reservoirs
  • Optimizing acquisition of fracture data from core and subsequent analyses

2. Outcrop Fracture Studies

List of selected analyses from an outcrop:

  • Fracture characterizations, distributions: domains
  • Outcrop fracture pattern extrapolations to reservoirs
  • Tectonic reconstructions, structural histories
  • Fracture susceptibility studies: mechanical stratigraphy
  • Fracture systems: fracture intensities, distributions, and interconnectivity
  • Tectonic vs. regional vs. structural fractures
  • The influence of faults on stresses and fractures

3. Classes, Workshops, Webinars and Lectures

Classes can be as short as one-hour “lunch and learns” or up to five-day classes with exercises.

Class highlights: All reservoirs are fractured, but not all fractures have significant effects on reservoirs. This course provides an overview of fracture types and principles gathered over the course of decades of fracture studies. It will have an applied focus, aimed at understanding the application of fracture characteristics to the behavior of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Topics covered: fracture types, fracture origins, fracture distributions, fracture effects on reservoirs, distinguishing natural from coring-induced fractures, using other coring-induced artifacts to optimize fracture analysis in cores, case histories, and the interactions of natural fractures with in situ stresses and with hydraulic stimulation fractures. Instructors also use a 65-piece collection of core to demonstrate hands-on examples of natural and induced fractures that can be brought to the classroom depending on distance from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This class has been taught for: the Petroleum Professional Development Center (Midland College), Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (University of. Wyoming), Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Pemex, ExxonMobil Corporation, Chesapeake Oil Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company, Devon Energy Corporation, EnCana Resources Incorporated, Sonatrach Petroleum Corporation, High Mount Exploration and Production LLC, Marathon Oill Company, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Petrel-Robertson Consulting Ltd, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and the Peruvian Geological Society.

The natural fracture course includes topics such as:

Introduction to fractures

  • Extension fractures
  • Shear fractures
  • Deformation bands
  • Fractography
  • Mineralization
  • Fracture corridors and domains
  • Microfractures
  • Compound fractures
  • Faults

Fractures in core

  • Extrapolating into the subsurface
  • Residual stress
  • Distinguishing natural from induced
  • Collecting fracture data
  • Fracture data analysis
  • QC an orientation survey
  • Paleomagnetic orientations
  • Measuring fracture strikes in cores
  • Image logs

Fractures in core; induced, types and uses

  • Petal fractures
  • Saddle fractures
  • Using petal fractures
  • Other artifacts

Fracture mechanics

  • Contraction fractures
  • Lithologic mismatches
  • Extension fractures
  • Effects of pore pressure
  • Shear fractures
  • Dynamically compatible fractures
  • Fractures in limestone vs. fractures in sandstone vs. fractures in shales

Selected field examples

  • Fractures on anticlines
    • Teapot Dome, WY
    • Laramide anticlines of the Tensleep Formation, WY
  • Fractures over mobile salt
    • Salt Valley, UT
    • Holbrook dissolution front, AR
  • Basins
    • Piceance basin, CO
    • DJ basin, CO
    • San Juan basin, NM & CO
    • Raton basin, NM & CO
    • Ahnet basin, Algeria

Spacing of fractures

  • Spacing variability
  • Fracture populations
  • Sampling problems
  • Geometry and wellbore efficiency

4. General Consulting on Fractures Reservoir Problems and Strategies

Incorporating fracture data into geologic and engineering models

5. Field Trips to Study Natural Fractures and Sedimentology

  • Raton Basin, CO & NM
  • San Juan Basin, CO & NM
  • Tensleep Sandstone, WY
  • Permian Basin, NM and TX
  • Your outcrops

6. Aerial reconnaissance and photography

Licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor John Lorenz can provide aerial images and aerial scale geologic assessments of your producing areas or analog site.

Rates: Day rate (with New Mexico gross receipts taxes where applicable), plus expenses: Day rate varies by the situation.


Scott P. Cooper

99 Rainbow Road, Suite 4-5
Edgewood, NM 87015-2348

John C. Lorenz

99 Rainbow Road, Suite 4-5
Edgewood, NM 87015-2348


Field trip to look at fractures in the San Juan basin, New Mexico

Fracture mechanics. Bedding is not the primary control on fracture spacing, as shown by two fracture sets with different spacings in a bed of Frontier Sandstone, Wyoming (spacing between major fractures is approximately 8 m).

Rare “ideal” square, intersecting fractures: Cedar Mesa Sandstone in southeastern Utah. Accessible by vehicle, each rectangular block is approximately 10x15 meters and three meters thick.

Plumose structure on fracture face in core indicates the mode of origin.

Imprint of a 1948 Hughes Tri-cone bit at the top of a core run


Signature of two sets of conjugate fractures in image logs, Raton Basin, New Mexico