Shape factor is regarded as a fundamental property of dual porosity reservoirs. Nevertheless, there are some confusion in the literature and simulation practice about its form and applicability. This paper discusses the different definitions showing that the most general is the one given by Heinemann and Mittermeir (2012). The paper tries to present a proper understanding of the nature of the shape factor and demonstrates a detailed mathematical approach to measure all the required parameters to calculate the shape factor for isolated matrix blocks accurately, as well as a simpler practical approach to determine the shape factor by outcrop investigations which can be routinely performed as it regards the practical usability of the shape factor as essential. A fine-scale single matrix block simulation model is used to demonstrate the difference in matrix-fracture interflow using the most widely-used shape factor after Kazemi et al (1992) which ignores permeability anisotropy versus a case that considers the anisotropy tensor. It is demonstrated that isotropic permeability assumption can lead to significantly wrong results for cases of high anisotropy and therefore, the generalized Heinemann and Mittermeir (2012) shape factor which considers all the parameters that affect the flow behavior, is recommended to be used routinely.


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