Deep Marrat Carbonate Reservoir Development & Production Challenges in Dharif Field of West Kuwait

Dakshinamurthy, Natarajan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Salam, Tareq Bader Abdul (Kuwait Oil Company) | Verma, Naveen Kumar (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Khamis, Waleed Khamis (Kuwait Oil Company)


The Marrat reservoir in Dharif field is a deep, sour, high pressure oil accumulation of Jurassic age containing light under-saturated oil of 36-380 API. The carbonate reservoir has a porosity range of 10-20% with permeability of 1-10 md. The field was put on production in 1989 through one well. Subsequently, 10 wells were added gradually developing the field. As of date, the field has produced about 12.5% of oil in place, lowering the reservoir pressure from 10,525 to 7,000 psi.

At present, oil production from the field is about 13,500 bbls/day. Due to low permeability, some wells produce with high drawdown approaching asphaltene onset pressure (AOP), estimated at 3,400 psi. This causes Asphaltene deposition in the tubing that requires cleaning to maintain the production level. The major challenges now are to produce the wells above AOP to avoid asphaltene precipitation in the wells or reservoir while sustaining the production level and maximizing recovery.

Hence, Full Field Model (FFM) for simulation studies was constructed and history-matched. Under depletion case, where the wells produce above AOP, field produced about 24% STOIIP. The water injection case shows significant increase in recovery to 40% STOIIP. Since no prior experience of water injection is available for such tight deep carbonate reservoirs in West Kuwait Fields, several key studies such as a) RCAL & SCAL b) Core flood Study c) Water Compatibility & Scale Prediction modeling d) Injectivity test, were carried out to address water injection feasibility.

The present paper shares the results of above studies which indicate that water injection is a viable option to maintain the reservoir pressure to produce the wells above AOP as well as to maximize recovery. Pilot water injection is planned through one well for which the area has been optimized using FFM. At present Pilot Water injector and source wells have been drilled and injection will be initiated with commissioning of surface facilities

Dharif field is NNE trending elongated anticlinal structure with faulted western limb. The Marrat reservoir in this field has developed in carbonate aggradational and progradational depositional setting. The field was discovered in 1988, put on production in 1989 and gradually developed with additional producers until 2004 (Fig-1). As of today, total 13 deep wells have been drilled in this field of which eleven are completed in the Marrat reservoir, while two are completed in a shallower Jurassic reservoir. The reservoir porosity ranges between 10-20 % while the average permeability is low, ranging between of 1-10 md with locally higher permeability of about 20 - 30 md in some layers. The average net reservoir thickness is about 200 ft and water saturation is less than 15 %. Initial oil water contact (OWC) was estimated to be 13,360 ft Subsea. The initial reservoir pressure was 10,525 psi at 13,200 ft SS (datum). The oil is under saturated with saturation pressure as 1,959 psi. Oil is light and the density is 36-380 API. The asphaltene onset pressure (AOP) is nearer to 3,400 psi, at a temperature of 2350 F.