This challenging reservoir characterization case study is defined by the interaction between two reservoirs with different production mechanisms: a fractured basement reservoir and an overlying sandstone reservoir. The existing static geologic concept has been significantly enhanced by integrating pressure data from a unique three-year shut-in period to aid modeling of fractured reservoir connectivity. Previously, the seismic dataset was predominantly used to model the fault and fracture network and guide well planning. In the current approach, the full field data set, including all drilling parameters and new reservoir surveillance data were integrated to address uncertainty in the connected hydrocarbon volume and the relative importance of each production mechanism. The result is a reservoir management tool with which to test re-development concepts and effectively manage pressure decline and increasing gas/oil ratio (GOR) and water production.
To achieve a fully integrated history matched model, the first step was to make a thorough review of the existing detailed seismic interpretation, vintage production logging tool runs (PLT's), wireline logs (including borehole image logs (BHI)) and drilling data to find a causal link between hydraulically conductive fractures and well production behavior. In parallel, a material balance exercise was run to incorporate the new pressure data acquired during the field's shut-in period. The results of the material balance analysis were combined with seismic and well data to define the distribution of connected fractures across the field. Additionally, the material balance analysis was used to determine the connected hydrocarbon volume, the distribution of initial oil in-place and the relative hydrocarbon contribution from each production mechanism.
The field is covered by multi-azimuth 3D seismic and 43 vertical to highly deviated development wells, providing significant static and dynamic data for characterizing the distribution of connected fractures. Despite this high quality, diverse and field-wide dataset, prior modeling iterations struggled to sufficiently describe the production behavior seen at the well level. This has resulted in a major challenge to predicting the production behavior of new development wells and planning for reservoir management challenges. Capturing the complex interaction between production variables (including lithology, matrix versus fracture network, geomechanical stresses, reservoir damage and pressure depletion) at a field level instead of at an individual well level resulted in a unified static and dynamic model that reconciles all scales of observation.
This oilfield represents a unique reservoir characterization opportunity. The result is a key example of how iterative, integrated geological and engineering driven reservoir modeling can be used to inform the development in a complex, mature field. This case study provides an excellent analogue for the reservoir characterization of other fractured Basement fields and/or Basement-cover reservoir couplet fields in the early to late phases of their development.
In the Sab'atayn Basin of Yemen hydrocarbons were generated from pre-salt Upper Jurassic source rocks during the Cenozoic and the salt provides the ultimate seal for the pre-salt and intra-salt traps. Therefore the proper understanding of salt tectonics is critical for ongoing hydrocarbon exploration efforts in the Sab'atayn Basin.
A variety of distinct salt tectonic features are present in the Sab'atayn Basin. Based on the regional interpretation of 2D seismic and locally available 3D seismic reflection data calibrated by exploration wells in the central part of the basin, an Upper Jurassic evaporite formation ("salt" from this point on) produced numerous salt rollers, pillows, reactive, flip-flop, active and falling diapirs.
Due to regional extension, halokinetics began by formation of salt rollers, as soon as the early Cretaceous, within just a few million years after the deposition of the Tithonian Sab'atayn Formation. The salt locally formed salt pillows which evolved to salt diapirs and diapiric salt walls as the result of renewed extension in the basin. As the result of a prominent extensional episode at the end of the Cretaceous most of the diapiric walls in the basin are controlled by large normal faults on their updip flanks. Some of the diapiric walls even evolved into falling diapirs due to ongoing extension
As the Sab'atayn Formation has typically several massive salt intervals in it, it defines post-, intra- and pre-salt play types in the basin. However, other than just providing traps and seals in the basin, salt tectonics is also very important for source rock maturation in the basin. As there are many salt diapirs in the study area, their cooling effect on the the pre-salt hydrocarbon kitchens appears to be quite significant, based on our preliminary basin modelling efforts.