Geomechanical Risk Evaluation for Developing Karstified Limestone Reservoir in Offshore Sarawak, Malaysia.

Mohd Ali, Siti Syareena (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Teng, Kevin Ging Ern (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | A Jalil, M Azran (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Sedaralit, M Faizal (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Trianto, Adi (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Wan Sagar, Siti Fatimah Sarah (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd)



The scope of the geomechanical study is to investigate the risk associated with different reservoir depletion strategies and to numerically simulate the geomechanical response of the reservoir rocks. The study focused on the large karstic distribution of the reservoir for the prediction of the best drilling direction and optimum well trajectories, and also to model the pore collapse behavior observed in the high porosity carbonate which will result in surface subsidence and impact the platform facilities placement.

A methodological risk evaluation approach based on numerical simulations with stringent experimental programme has been applied to the field study. The regional geological understanding and operational experience of the nearby fields have been considered for the study via extensive assessment of constitutive models relating to pore collapse. Advanced 4D geomechanical simulations were carried out to incorporate the seismic-based karstic models and to strengthen understanding of the pore collapse phenomena during reservoir depletion. The obtained prediction results were compared to nearby fields and subsequently use for wells, facilities planning and engineering considerations.

The results obtained in the study identified a few key outcomes which are being considered for detailed surface engineering design and well planning. The results have impacted the decision to place the location of the platform away from the center of the seabed subsidence bowl. The predicted reservoir compaction and subsidence described the rate and the magnitude of the subsidence which are use to design the height of the platform to mitigate potential damage induced by wave deck shearing. In addition, the distribution of karst has been mapped through seismic imaging and incorporated in the geomechanical modelling. The results are also used to determine the hazard of the weak zones in each formation and high stress anisotropy regions which are to be avoided for future well placement and to be used for well trajectory optimization. Key findings of the geomechanical-related risk have been identified and considered in the field development plan. Consequently, a Risk Ranking Criteria incorporating the results of advanced simulations and rock testing programme have been developed based on comprehensive weightage and the technical categories.

The paper offers a detailed insight on the geomechanical risk evaluation obtained using 4D finite element coupled reservoir geomechanical simulations. The study addressed the challenging development of a highly karstified limestone reservoir by offering valuable inputs for the well design and facility engineering through prediction of reservoir compaction and seabed subsidence, best drilling direction and optimum well trajectories. This will avoid potential geomechanical related hazards and ensure adequate operational safety levels.