The preceding results show how a micromechanical analysis based on poroelasticity and Gassmann's equations can be used to compute the geomechanical double-porosity coefficients in a very elegant manner. This makes use of all the information available and produces reasonable estimates of all the coefficients needed in reservoirs modeled by double-porosity geomechanics. Triple- and multi-porosity geomechanics can also be studied using similar methods, but some work remains to be done on closure of the increasingly larger systems of equations involved. For multi-porosity systems, closure of the system of equations can nevertheless always be achieved by the addition of further macroscale measurements. Analysis and solution of these systems of equations to eliminate the need for such additional measurements is therefore one subject of future work in this area of research.

Extension of this work in other directions is also possible. In particular, the applications presented here have been restricted for the sake simplicity to isotropic macroscopic systems. But it is known that the methods employed are not restricted to isotropic systems -- as has already been shown in other micromechanical studies by Dvorak and Benveniste (1997). So careful extensions of these ideas to anisotropy, and especially anisotropy due to oriented fractures, in double-porosity systems is both possible and desirable. Such extensions will permit us to provide more realistic models of reservoir geomechanics, including effects of overburden, tectonic stresses, hydrofracing, etc.

6/8/2002