Data Integration and Reservoir Characterization for Organic Rich Unconventional Plays - A Case Study from UAE

Kang, Jeonggil (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Eriavbe, Francis (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Girinathan, Sajith (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Mohamed, Alyazia (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Doucette, Neil (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Almehsin, Khalil (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Ali Alloghani, Jasim (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Ali Al-Ali, Abdulla (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Ahmed Al Katheeri, Faaeza (Al Dhafra Petroleum Operation Company) | Bhatt, Pranjal (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Franquet, Javier (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Zhunussova, Gulzira (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Uluyuz, Sila (Baker Hughes, a GE Company)



Several challenges are associated with the characterization of organic rich unconventional plays, most significantly with the identification of sweet spots for optimum placement of horizontal wells, estimation of producible hydrocarbons and subsequent stimulation design. This paper presents the petrophysics and geomechanics integration approach from the X Formation and the important factors for the identification of sweet spots.

The case study concentrates on the X Formation that consists of a succession of argillaceous limestone, mostly fine grained packstones and wackestones together with subordinate calcareous shales in the lower part. The complex carbonate lithology and fabric combined with low porosity and the requirement to evaluate total organic carbon presents a challenge to conventional logs and evaluation of them. Amid all the rock properties, the low permeability and productivity dictate the requirement to stimulate the wells effectively. Detailed integration of advanced and conventional log data, core data, mud logs and geomechanical analysis plays a critical role in the evaluation and development of these organic rich unconventional reservoirs. Extensive data gathering was done with wireline logging suite, which covered Resistivitiy/Density/Neutron/Spectral GR- Acoustic logs – Resistivity & Acoustic Images – Dielectric- NMR - Advanced Elemental Spectroscopy technologies and microfrac tests to characterize the hydrocarbon potential, sweet spots and in-situ stress contrast within the organic rich X Formation. The azimuthal and transverse acoustic anisotropies were obtained from X-dipole data to fully characterize the elastic properties of the formation. The static elastic properties were obtained using empirical core correlations as triaxial core tests were not available at the time of the study. The stress profile was calibrated against straddle packer microfrac tests to identify intervals with stress contrast for proper hydraulic fracturing interval selection.

The integration of conventional and advanced logs enabled the accurate evaluation of total organic carbon (TOC), petrophysical volumes, and sweet spot selection. The advanced elemental spectroscopy data provided the mineralogy, amount of carbon presence in the rock, and consequently the associated organic carbon within the X Formation. The NMR reservoir characterization provided lithology independent total porosity. The difference between the NMR and density porosities provides additional information about organic matter. NMR data was utilized in this case study to identify and differentiate the organic matter and hydrocarbon presence within the X Formation.

Acoustic and image logs provided the geomechanical properties that enable selection of the best intervals for microfrac stress measurement and proper fracture containment modeling. Geomechanical workflow allowed identification of intervals with a good stress contrast in X formation. The core data and stress measurements are recommended for the accurate calibration of the stress profiles and hydraulic fracture propagation modeling.

The extensive data integration work presented in this single-well study within X Fomation, is a key factor for any organic rich unconventional reservoir characterization that integrated geology, petrophysics, mineralogy, and geomechanics for sweet spot identification within tight oil carbonate reservoirs.