Recent Advances in the Understanding of the Salt Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Flank at Regional and Field Scale and its Relationship to the South Oman Salt Basin of the Sultanate of Oman

Heidorn, Rodrigo (Petroleum Development Oman) | Salem, Hisham (Petroleum Development Oman) | Shuaili, Salim (Petroleum Development Oman) | Khattak, Ali (Petroleum Development Oman) | Pentland, Christopher (Petroleum Development Oman)



The Eastern Flank part of the South Oman Salt Basin of the Sultanate of Oman is an important area for Oman's overall oil production. The fields are largely controlled by deep seated reactivated Neoproterozoic faults and halokinesis of the Infra-Cambrian Ara Group responsible for rich varieties of complex structural styles which have direct impact on field performance and development. The fidelity of newer seismic, the ever increasing information from wells and better integration of various data sets of different disciplines allow new insights into the unlocking of remaining hydrocarbons within existing fields and within near field exploration opportunities.

The South Oman Salt Basin is subdivided into four NE-trending salt-related structural domains based on the type of salt withdrawal minibasins present. The Eastern Flank is located within structural domain I. Domain I represents the area where evaporites have been initially present, but have been subsequently removed by salt-dissolution and salt evacuation. The dominant structure style is the ‘mini turtle back structure', which shows a diverse structural architecture and is systematically classified based on structure- and fault architecture. Domain II is the zone of the large inverted salt withdrawal minibasin or turtle back structure which is located at the salt edge of the basin with evaporite presence in the subsurface. The structural style of a large turtle back structure shows complexities within the core of the structure and within the surrounding rim related to inversion and truncation of the Carboniferous and Permian reservoirs. This is reflected by the various development scenarios related to simple and complex cores as well as to simple and complex rims. Fault compartmentalization has a strong impact on field performance within domain I and II, thus several types of faults are established based on fault architecture and location within the structure. The systematic classification of structural styles and faults allow the establishment of analogues, which are in particular valuable for seismically poorly imaged areas. A new tool captures and centralizes the structural data, as well as a large range of other data sets within the production and geoscience environment from over 60 fields with the aim to make more consistent and better as well as quicker decisions related to field development planning.