Partitioning of fault displacement onto multiple segments within a fault mapped as a single structure on seismic can result in flow paths between seemingly unconnected fault-bound compartments. The problem can be tackled using a quantitative fault zone description underlain by three parameters that have been characterised for a variety of natural fault systems. Methods for deriving these parameters for subsurface datasets are outlined, and a range of analytical and modelling approaches for assessing the likely importance of sub-seismic fault segmentation in an exploration and production context are discussed and illustrated.


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