Identification of tidal channels fairways is key for predicting behavior of areas at higher risk to water breakthrough or otherwise have a significant impact on the development and monitoring of reservoir performance. However, tidal channels in carbonates are not often easily characterized using conventional seismic attributes. It is important to decipher the complexity of the carbonate tidal channel architecture with integrated multisource data and a variety of approaches.
In this paper, petrological characteristics and petrographic analysis is conducted on well logs and validated carefully using core data. Then, the second step is to compare the carbonate channel systems with modern analogue in Bahama tidal flat and outcrop scales in Wadi Mi'Aidin (Northern Oman). Thereafter, the supervised probabilistic neural network (PNN) and linear regression method were undertaken to detect an additional channel distribution.
The relationship of high porosity with low acoustic impedance appeared mostly in the channel facies which reflects good reservoir quality grainstone channels. Outside these channels, the rock is heavily mud filled by peritidal carbonates and characterized by a high acoustic impedance anomaly with low quality of porosity distribution. The new observation of PNN porosity volume revealed a lateral distribution of the Mishrif carbonate tidal channels in terms of paleocurrent direction and the connectivity. Additionally, the prior information from core data and the geological knowledge indicate a good consistency with classified lithology. These observations implied that Mishrif channels consist of a wide range of lithology and porotype fluctuations due to the impact of depositional environment.
The work enables us to provide a new insight into the distribution of channel bodies, and petrophysical properties with quantification of their influence on dynamic reservoir behavior of the main producing reservoir. This work will not only provide an important guidance to the development and production of this case study, however also deliver an integrated work path for the similar geological and sedimentary environment in the nearby oil fields of Southern Iraq.
The objective of our research is to reconcile the differences, in both age and relative stratigraphic position, between the Woodbine and Eagle Ford Groups in the outcrop and subsurface of the East Texas Basin. In the outcrop belt, organic- and carbonate-rich Middle Cenomanian mudstones are mapped within the Eagle Ford Group, where they overlie, and are separated by a regional unconformity from Early Cenomanian, organic-poor, and clay-rich mudstones of the Woodbine Group (Pepper Shale). In southern portions of the East Texas Basin, however, these same organic- and carbonate-rich Middle Cenomanian mudstones are mapped within the Maness Shale, which in turn, is overlain by Late Cenomanian to Turonian-aged mudstones (Pepper Shale) and sandstones (Dexter Formation) mapped as the Woodbine Group. Our approach to reconcile the lithostratigraphic juxtaposition between the two regions was to use chemo-stratigraphic and petrophysical data collected from the outcrops, as well as an adjacent shallow research borehole, in order to define key sequence stratigraphic units/surfaces, and then correlate the key units/surfaces from the outcrop belt into the subsurface.
Our research indicates that the Woodbine Group, is an older unconformity-bounded depositional sequence which is Early Cenomanian, whereas the Eagle Ford Group, is an overlying (younger) unconformity-bounded depositional sequence, which is Middle Cenomanian to Late Turonian. The unconformities that bound these units can be mapped from the outcrop belt into the subsurface of the East Texas Basin, to define coeval depositional sequences. As defined in this study, marine mudstones of the Woodbine Group, are clay- & silica-rich, TOC-poor, and characterized by low resistivity on geophysical logs. In general, the Woodbine Group thins, as well as transitions to more mudstone-prone facies, from northeast to southwest within the basin. While beyond the scope of this study, the Woodbine Group contains numerous higher-frequency sequences, which are stacked in an overall progradational (highstand) sequence set. The depositional profile of the unconformity which forms the top of this progradational succession sets up the relict physiographic (depositional shelf/slope/basin) profile for the overlying Eagle Ford Group.
Within the Lower Eagle Ford Formation, two high-frequency sequences, defined as the Lower and Upper Members, were defined. Within the Upper Eagle Ford Formation, three high-frequency sequences, defined as the Lower, Middle, and Upper Members, were defined. The Lower and Upper Members of the Lower Eagle Ford Formation, as well as the Lower Member of the Upper Eagle Ford Formation range from Middle Cenomanian to Early Turonian. These three high-frequency sequences contain marine mudstones that are carbonate- & TOC-rich, as well as clay- and quartz-poor, and are characterized by high resistivity values on geophysical logs. Furthermore, they are interpreted as a transgressive sequence set, with sequences that sequentially onlap, from older to younger, the inherited relict physiographic (depositional shelf/slope/basin) profile of the underlying Woodbine Group. In stark contrast, mudstones within the Middle and Upper Members of the Upper Eagle Ford Formation, which are Middle to Late Turonian, are clay-rich, TOC-poor, and characterized by low resistivity on geophysical logs. These two sequences, which are interpreted as a highstand sequence set, are sandstone-prone, and contain petroleum reservoirs that previously were incorrectly included within the Woodbine Group. Based on these correlations, updated sequence-based paleogeographic maps can be constructed for the first time across the East Texas Basin. These maps can in turn be used to define a robust portfolio of conventional, as well as unconventional tight-rock and source-rock, plays and play fairways, which are now based on a modern sequence stratigraphic, versus the traditional archaic lithostratigraphic framework.
The Niobrara interval in the Denver-Julesberg (DJ) Basin contains several important unconventional hydrocarbon targets. However, the Niobrara is extensively faulted, which poses challenges for accurately landing and steering laterals in zone. Insight into small faulted structures in the Niobrara using traditional manual fault interpretation techniques is challenging because of the tuning thickness in seismic data. Fault throws less than the tuning thickness are difficult to interpret and incorporate into geosteering plans. Consequently, drillers frequently find themselves out of zone after crossing these small faults. Using independent information about fault locations and throws provided from multiple horizontal wells in the DJ Basin, this paper demonstrates the fault likelihood attribute (Hale, 2013) can resolve fault throws as small as 10 ft, allowing seismic-based well plans and unconventional project economics to be significantly improved.
Traditional geoscience data interpretation workflows in support of well planning can be tedious and time consuming, requiring manual fault picking on seismic profiles in conjunction with horizon tracing and gridding for structural mapping. The emergence of unconventional resource plays requires both more efficient geoscience workflows to support round-the-clock drilling operations and more detailed structural interpretations to help ensure laterals are steered along sweet spots. Pre-drill mapping of small-scale faults is therefore of particular importance for safe operations and helping ensure that lateral wells stay in zone.
Recent advances in fault-sensitive post-stack seismic attributes are changing the way subsurface professionals think about faults and how to map them in 3D space. In particular, the fault likelihood attribute (Hale, 2013) has provided a breakthrough improvement in the quality of seismic-derived fault attributes. Typically, the fault likelihood attribute is used in exploration settings to rapidly generate a broad-scale structural interpretation, being used both as a guide to manual fault interpretation and as input into automated fault extraction algorithms. This paper demonstrates the value of fault likelihood in development settings for assisting the well planning and geosteering process.
In the Dunvegan Kaybob South Pool, recent multistage fracked horizontal wells have revealed the presence of a light oil play enveloping a large legacy gas field, developed with vertical wells. The boundary between the oil and gas producing areas intersect structural contours a high angle within deltaic sandstones of the Cretaceous Dunvegan Formation. To address controls on this boundary, a multidisciplinary study of cores, core analysis data, well logs was completed and integrated with test and production data to identify controls on fluid production.
Legacy gas production is from relatively high permeability delta front sandstones, while oil dominated production occurs from lower permeability, fine grained pro-delta deposits. While wells within the legacy gas field produce very low volumes of oil, core fluid extractions reveal significant oil is also present within this portion of the reservoir, but is not mobile. The Dunvegan clearly demonstrates permeability as the main control on the anomalous fluid distributions, with several other tight sandstone plays showing similar relationships, although often more subtle, such as observed in the Cardium, Montney, etc.
The anomalous fluid distributions with higher gas saturations in higher permeability beds and higher oil saturation in lower reservoir quality beds contradict conventional capillary reservoir charge models. Thus, we propose late stage migration of predominantly gas related to the increase in gas generation post peak oil window due to increasing maturity of the kerogen during burial. These late generated gas fluids migrated from the deeper part of the basin preferentially within higher permeability strata and fractures, and displace the earlier emplaced oil resulting in reservoirs with high GOR. These counterintuitive observations with higher liquids production from lower reservoir quality, can significantly improve the play economics and allow better prediction of fluid distribution in many plays.
Although unconventional low permeability reservoirs form laterally continuous thick hydrocarbon accumulations, they often have variable liquid saturations vertically and laterally. While varying kerogen type and maturity are important controls. In several plays, fluid distribution shows a strong correlation with permeability, with higher gas saturations occurring in more permeable beds. The control of permeability on anomalous fluid distribution has been discussed for several clastic, low permeability unconventional light oil and liquid rich gas plays in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (e.g. Wood and Sanei 2016, Venieri and Pedersen 2017). In this study we present a study of a legacy gas pool producing from deltaic sandstone reservoirs of the late Cretaceous Dunvegan Formation (Figure 1). The pool is located within the deep basin of western Alberta, an area of pervasive hydrocarbon saturation charged by enveloping thermal mature organic rich mudstones and coals (Masters 1984). The Dunvegan Kaybob South Pool is comprised of a lowstand delta lobe of the southward prograding Dunvegan Delta (Bhattacharya 1993).
During development of the Eagle Ford unconventional resource near the San Marcos Arch, a non-productive mudstone associated with drilling issues was identified between the primary Eagle Ford producing zone and the underlying Buda Limestone. As the top of the Buda typically exhibits evidence of karsting but is unaltered when overlain by this mudstone, and the mudstone contains higher abundances of clay than the Eagle Ford, two questions were posed: (1) Does this mudstone represent a depositional system separate from the Eagle Ford and (2) does it act as a fracture barrier between the Eagle Ford and underlying water-bearing rocks?
The current study analyzed two cores from Lavaca and Fayette counties, which included petrographic, XRD, and geomechanical (point-load penetrometer and micro-rebound hammer) analyses to determine the mineralogy and geomechanical properties of the mudstone, the Eagle Ford, and the Buda. Logs from 345 wells within a six-county were used to correlate and map four horizons associated with the mudstone. These results were integrated with an earlier core study that included biostratigraphic, petrographic, XRD, and XRF analyses, and regional log correlations across the arch into the Brazos Basin.
The geomechanical tests found that the mudstone is significantly weaker than the overlying Eagle Ford, averaging 32% lower calculated unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values derived from the penetrometer and 36% lower using the micro-rebound hammer. Higher clay and lower calcite abundances within the mudstone are responsible for its lower strength; the XRD analyses found that the shale samples from the mudstone contained an average of 47% clay, whereas the Eagle Ford marls contained an average of 34% clay. The petrographic analyses found that the clay is concentrated in structureless layers that are interpreted to represent fluid-mud deposits associated with hypopycnal plumes.
The biostratigraphic study identified Early Cenomanian markers associated with the Maness Shale of East Texas which lies between the Woodbine and Buda, in agreement with the regional cross-sections which correlated the mudstone to the Maness. A hot gamma ray spike produced by a phosphatic lag at the top of the mudstone was key to the correlations. Thickness trends of the Maness differ considerably from the Eagle Ford; it has a distinct northeast-southwest trend and pinches out in southern Karnes County, suggesting that it was a depositional system unrelated to the Eagle Ford.
Comparison of Maness thicknesses with cumulative first year oil and water production data from over 2000 horizontal wells in the study area found a significant correlation between Maness thickness and water/oil ratios. In particular, there is a 50% decrease in water/oil ratios between Maness thicknesses of 5 to 10 ft, (1.5-3 m) suggesting that the Maness may be acting as a fracture barrier where it is >10 ft (3 m) thick.
The Finn-Shurley field produces petroleum from the Upper Cretaceous Turner Sandstone of the Powder River Basin. The Turner is a member of the Carlile and is overlain by the Sage Breaks and underlain by the Pool Creek members of the Carlile. The Turner is interpreted to be a shallow marine shelf sandstone deposited along the eastern side of the Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway. Sand-shelf-bar orientation across the field is roughly east-west. Trapping occurs where sandstone beds get shalier up-dip. The field is located along the shallow east margin of the Powder River Basin south of the Clareton lineament.
Three to four coarsening upward cycles are present in the Turner in the field. Most of the production in Finn-Shurely comes from the lower two cycles. Each cycle consists of burrowed to bioturbated, heterolithic mudstones and sandstones coarsening upwards into fine-grained laminated to burrowed sandstones. Trace fossil present fall into the shelf Cruziana ichnofacies. The sandstones are largely litharenites. Porosities range from 11-17% and permeabilities range from 0.06 to 0.5 md. Source rock analysis of the Turner shales indicate Ro values averaging 0.63 and Tmax values of 433°C. Source beds for the oil and gas in the Turner are thought to be the Mowry and Niobrara formations. The low thermal maturity suggests lateral migration of oil into the stratigraphic trap.
The field extends over an area roughly circular in shape of ~65 square miles. Productive depths across the field are 4450 to 5700 ft. First production is reported as 1965 and cumulative production from ~750 vertical wells is 23.6 MMBO and 38.9 BCFG. Cumulative gas oil ratio is 1688 cu ft gas per barrel oil. Average production per well is approximately 31.5 MBO and 52 MMCFG. Horizontal drilling activity in the field area has recently commenced. Although the production is fair to marginal, the field provides an excellent example of trapping style as well as a depositional model for Turner Sandstone elsewhere in the Powder River Basin. Recent drilling in the deeper overpressured parts of the Powder River Basin has encountered excellent production from the Turner (> 1,000 bbls oil equivalent per well).
Finn-Shurley Field is part of a continuous accumulation within the Turner Sandstone in the Powder River Basin. Distinct oil-water contacts are not present in the field area. The accumulation is underpressured and regarded as unconventional.
The mainly Cenomanian Shilaif formation of Abu Dhabi (UAE) is currently explored and appraised for its shale oil and shale gas potential. The objective is to assess the hydrocarbons resources, the spatial variability of rock and fluid properties as well as highlighting sweet-spots.
The exploration efforts started in 2014, conducting some multidisciplinary regional depositional and petroleum system studies complemented with exploration wells and the acquisition of comprehensive suites of logs, cores and pressured (sidewall) cores.
The Shilaif formation was deposited in a deeper water intrashelf basin and is time equivalent to the adjacent shallow water higher energy Mishrif formation. Non-eroded Shilaif thicknesses vary from 500 to 900 ft from deep basin to slope respectively. The formation can be subdivided into 3-4 composite sequences each with separate source rocks and clean tight carbonates.
The present day structural configuration is inherited from two related regional compressional events; a) a NW-SE compression responsible for the anticline/syncline, lasting from Late Cenomanian to Early Eocene was created by India's continental drift, b) the late Cretaceous (starting in Turonian) emplacement of the Semail ophiolite from NE direction responsible for loading the continental plate and resulting in the creation of a large scale foreland basin. Reactivation of this NE compression occurred during Late Tertiary.
The resulting structuration created two synclines in the south of Abu Dhabi with maximum maturity of 1.1 Vr (TR 0.65). The foreland basin towards the North East has maturity values reaching the dry gas window. The continuous present day stress from a NE direction combined with high overpressures has a strong geomechanical impact with hmin close to overburden in synclinal areas.
This study aims to present the unconventional resource potential of the Late Albian to Early Turonian basinal sequences in Abu Dhabi.
Insights into the local and regional stratigraphic framework as well as structural controls of the depot-centers are presented.
The expansion of unconventional petroleum resource exploration and production in the United States has led to an increase in source rock characterization efforts, particularly related to bulk organic and mineralogical properties. To support the analytical and research needs of industry and academia, as well as internal work, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has collected and prepared shale geochemical reference materials (GRMs) from several major shale petroleum systems in the U.S. The sources of these materials are the Late Cretaceous Boquillas (lower Eagle Ford-equivalent) Formation (roadcut near Del Rio, TX), Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale (outcrop near Delta, CO), Devonian–Mississippian Woodford Shale (outcrop near Ardmore, OK), Late Cretaceous Niobrara Formation (quarry near Lyons, CO), Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale (creek bed in LeRoy, NY), and Eocene Mahogany zone oil shale of the Green River Formation (oil shale mine near Rifle, CO). Of particular interest in the development of these GRMs has been the examination of variability between laboratories and specific methods or instruments in commonly made measurements, including major- and trace-element concentrations, X-ray diffraction (XRD) mineralogy, total organic carbon (TOC) content, and programmed pyrolysis (PP) parameters. For the component concentrations and parameters we measured, the techniques and instrument types included: (1) elemental analysis by X-ray fluorescence, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and instrumental neutron activation analysis; (2) XRD mineralogy with various preparatory methods (spray drying or micronizing with or without internal standard); (3) TOC by combustion with infrared detection after carbonate removal or the PP approach; (4) PP by Rock-Eval 2 or more recently developed instruments (Rock-Eval 6, Source Rock Analyzer or SRA, and Hydrocarbon Analyzer With Kinetics or HAWK). Overall, the results showed that the selected shales cover a wide range of source rock organic and mineralogical properties. Major- and trace-element chemistry results showed low heterogeneity consistent with other USGS GRMs. Comparison of TOC results showed coefficients of variation (COV) of around 5% and the most consistent organic geochemical results between different laboratories and methods. Arguably the most relevant PP measurement, S2 or kerogen hydrocarbon-generating potential (mg-HC/g-rock), showed a somewhat wider range of variability than TOC (COV ~10%), but was consistent between the three modern instruments and the industry-standard Rock-Eval 2. Major phase mineralogy (mineral concentrations ≥10 wt. %, organic-free basis) were comparable between laboratories, but variability in minor phase identification and quantification was observed. Utilization of these shale GRMs as quality control samples and testing materials is expected to help support analytical and experimental efforts in the continued development of unconventional petroleum resources.
This talk explores the recent production history in the Powder River Basin, providing a comparison of wells drilled between 2011 to 2016 vs. wells drilled in 2017 and 2018. We highlight an improvement in well performance that warrants a deep-dive examination correlating to landing zone, lateral length, proppant and fluid factors, and other completion variables. Data is mined using the TGS Well Performance Database that contains historical monthly oil, gas and water production volumes at the well formation level. This detailed dataset, correlated to producing formations, helps feed our data driven model to study individual formations and their potential productive capabilities. Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) wells are forecasted to their economic limit and forward curves are generated utilizing hyperbolic fitting backed up with the Extended Kalman Filter procedure. Completion data is used to statistically evaluate relationships between production and operations.
Following analysis of well performance metrics nine formations stand-out with attractive production rates and EURs. The top formation targets include the Turner, Frontier, Parkman formations, and the Mowry Shale. Our research shows how correlations in production metrics to landing zone, lateral length, proppant & fluid factors, and other completion variables have contributed to a dramatic improvement in well economics in the recent two years. Analyzing horizontal well performance over time; 2018 horizontal well EURs have increased an impressive 270% over 2011 horizontal wells.
The Powder River Basin (PRB), located in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, USA has produced conventional oil and gas since the 1890's, highlighted by the 1908 discovery of the Shannon and Salt Creek fields north of Casper, Wyoming (Anna, 2009). Recent advances in horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing renewed interest in the basin to test the economic viability of tight sandstone and carbonate resource plays (Toner, 2019). Since 2009, oil production in the Powder River Basin has increased 200% due to horizontal drilling that is mainly targeting the Turner/Wall Creek, Parkman, Niobrara, Sussex, and Shannon formations.
The PRB is known as an oil basin however, in the late 1990's Coal Bed Methane (CBM) development greatly increased gas production. In 2009, the PRB produced 584 BCF of natural gas. Natural gas production has been declining in the PRB since 2009, largely due to low gas prices, depleted CBM reservoirs, and competition from unconventional gas plays.