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Abstract To keep pace with increasing importance of unconventional hydrocarbons and consequent changes in the global energy landscape, the State of Kuwait has embarked on a strategic plan of evaluating and developing these resources. Synergistic interpretation of exploration datasets has brought out the exploration potential of the resources. These resources are prolific and occur at multiple stratigraphic levels in diverse settings in carbonate reservoirs. Two types of unconventional resources, self-sourced hydrocarbons (shale hydrocarbons) and tight hydrocarbons, have been identified and evaluated with workflows specific to each type. The Cretaceous Makhul and the Jurassic Najmah formations have emerged as important self-sourced hydrocarbon reservoirs. The play existence is demonstrated by the presence of free hydrocarbons contents, substantial thickness, overpressures and positive production tests in both plays. The Makhul play is characterized by total organic carbon (TOC) content between 4 - 7% and lies in the middle to late maturity oil window. It is over-pressured and has thickness in the range of 70 - 300 ft. The Najmah play is characterized by TOC content between 9 - 14% and is in the late maturity oil-condensate window. The play is systematically over-pressured, with pressure reaching the natural fracturing conditions. The Najmah play has shale gas and shale oil resource potential, while the Makhul play has potential for shale oil resource. The other speculative shale gas play is Qusaiba Shale which has not been drilled so far in Kuwait. Fractured carbonate units in the Cretaceous Upper Minagish and Upper Makhul; the Jurassic Hith, Najmah, Upper Sargelu and Marrat; and the Triassic Lower Jilh and Lower Khuff constitute the tight reservoir resources. These reservoirs are characterized by porosity typically less than 5% and permeability mostly less than 0.1 millidarcy (mD). These reservoirs are productive in structurally deformed areas where natural open fractures are well developed and critically stressed. Resource specific and technology intensive multi-disciplinary workflows from play assessment to commercial production are crucial for effective leverage of the unconventional resources.
Couzens-Schultz, B.A. (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Axon, A. (Shell China Exploration and Production Co. Ltd.) | Azbel, K. (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Hansen, K.S. (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Haugland, M. (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Sarker, R. (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Tichelaar, B. (Shell Egypt N.V.) | Wieseneck, J.B. (Shell Exploration and Production) | Wilhelm, R. (Shell Exploration and Production) | Zhang, J. (Shell Exploration & Production) | Zhang, Z. (Shell International Ltd.)
Abstract Understanding pore pressure prediction in unconventional plays is important for executing a safe drilling strategy and for accurate production modeling. Experience from several unconventional plays highlights key aspects of pore pressure prediction work that are different from conventional exploration settings. In conventional exploration, the most common source of overpressure is disequilibrium compaction, where porosity is preserved in mudrocks as pore fluids take on additional overburden load. Traditional petrophysical methods use resistivity, sonic and density data to measure porosity and associate it with vertical effective stress (VES), which is overburden minus pore pressure. In unconventional plays, secondary pressure mechanisms and uplift require other methods because of two influences on pore pressure:hydrocarbon generation and variations in burial and uplift history. Both of these situations mean that the relationships between vertical effective stress (VES), velocity, density and resistivity will follow unloading paths, not compaction trends. The unloading paths vary depending on the amount of hydrocarbon generated and the amount of uplift. In organic-rich sections, an additional complication arises because pore pressure cannot be de-convolved from total organic carbon (TOC) and gas effects on shale compressional velocity and resistivity. In conventional settings, fluid gradients and contacts are used to translate measured pressure data from one location to another. In unconventional tight reservoirs, the fluids are not connected and this method will not work. Pressure data must be inferred from drilling event and diagnostic fracture injection test interpretations, and a different way to translate data between locations is required. The majority of pressure data in unconventional reservoirs shows that often, the way to translate pressure information from one location to another in the same tight rocks is to use a constant VES. This method combined with understanding variations in uplift history and hydrocarbon generation has been used to successfully predict pressure ranges in multiple unconventional plays. Introduction Unconventional resources plays in shale and tight rocks have become a substantial resource in North America. They are now rapidly being explored and developed outside the United States and Canada in a trend that will likely continue to grow. To economically develop these plays, wells must be drilled as cost effective as possible. To produce from these plays and forecast production, the mechanical properties of the rocks and their stress conditions need to be understood to best stimulate and complete the wells. Pore pressure prediction is integral to both of these activities.
Gorynski, Kyle E. (Encana Services Company Ltd.) | Tobey, Mark (Encana Services Company Ltd.) | Enriquez, Daniel (Encana Services Company Ltd.) | Smagala, Thomas (Encana Services Company Ltd.) | Dreger, J. (Encana Services Company Ltd.) | Newhart, Richard (Encana Services Company Ltd.)
Abstract Pore-fluid volumes and compositions are essential parameters for any reservoir assessment. Measurements of these properties for liquid-rich shales can be time-consuming and expensive due to their nanoscale pore geometry and low permeability. Additionally, current solvent or thermal extraction techniques alone are insufficient in accurately measuring oil-filled porosity in shales. Accurate quantification of oil-filled porosity requires the integration of thermal and solvent extraction. Here we show how basic open-system programed pyrolysis, LECO TOC, Archimedes bulk density and helium pycnometry measurements can be integrated to calculate shale oil and gas pore volumes and composition in a robust, inexpensive and time-efficient manner. We present a simplified integrated extraction methodology which examines sister samples of as-received and solvent-extracted material via pyrolysis. Subtraction of the extracted pyrogram from the as-received pyrogram results in a "residual" pyrogram of extractable organic matter. Assumed oil and kerogen densities and measured sample bulk and matrix densities allow for conversion of measured pyrolysis normalized weights to pore volumes. This integration of routine shale analyses data yields total porosity and further refines shale pore and organic-matter volumes into components of gas, light oil, heavy oil, total water, convertible kerogen, and dead kerogen. This methodology was validated by comparing calculated hydrocarbon (oil & gas) pore volumes from hundreds of samples from 9 source rocks across North America to measurements determined from the GRI Dean Stark extraction methodology. Introduction Porosity and hydrocarbon saturation are two of the most fundamental properties needed to characterize any petroleum reservoir. Current core analysis techniques for liquid-rich shales inaccurately measure these properties by extracting too much or too little of the shale's organic-matter (Burger et al., 2014; Labus et al., 2015). In this paper, we introduce a "new" technique to accurately measure hydrocarbon-filled porosity in liquid-rich shales and to quantify hydrocarbon pore volume into gas, light, and heavy fractions.
The growth in unconventional resource plays in the past several years has produced a burgeoning need for new software tools for organic shales. Geoscientists need tools to help them understand complex hydrocarbon generation, storage capacity, and migration paths in source rock reservoirs, enabling them to flag and map optimized pay. Engineers need tools to help them define optimum techniques to deliver the most shale gas and oil to the market and enable them to build the best reservoir models to exploit these resources. And for unconventional resource development to proceed as it should, these tools must work together in a common framework.
An advanced integrated petrophysical evaluation software package, based on a calibrated workflow, was recently developed by Halliburton for organic shales. The concept behind it was to bring all the requisite pieces of an exploration shale play analysis into a single vantage point for an asset team. This is critical when very few vertical exploration wells are used to define the economics of these resource plays before full-scale horizontal development begins.
The software’s workflow modules encompass the following capabilities: total organic carbon (TOC) and organic maturity estimation; fluid and minerals evaluation; advanced saturation modeling; mechanical properties and brittleness; 3D stress and stress orientation; permeability; and pay analysis.
TOC Estimation and Organic Maturity
To define the resource volume, one needs to determine an accurate volume of organic kerogen present in the rock. To determine potential hydrocarbon type, the level of thermal maturity must be established. To solve for kerogen, the TOC measured by core pyrolysis can be calibrated to logs, using eight industry accepted correlations. Organic maturity, VRo, is measured by actual vitrinite reflectance or calculated from pyrolysis-derived Tmax (temperature between 300°C and 600°C that generates peak hydrocarbons from existing kerogen). This maturity value is used to make the final TOC calibration and predict hydrocarbon type.
Fluid and Minerals Evaluation
The heart of the volumetric analysis is its probabilistic solver. Total porosity in organic shales can only be resolved by logs when relative amounts of geochemically derived minerals are measured and combined with the TOC calculation. Minimum requirements for this type of analysis include a triple combo log, neutron capture spectroscopy, and natural gamma spectroscopy. The software uses a probabilistic error minimization methodology to determine formation fluid and mineral volumes.
The idea is to construct theoretical logs that closely replicate actual logs. Tool response equations are expressed in terms of fluid and mineral volumes and their corresponding tool response parameters. Most response equations are linear. Some, such as neutron, conductivity, and certain acoustic equations, are nonlinear. The inclusion of additional evaluation tools, such as the dipole sonic travel time curves DTC (compressional velocity) and DTS (shear velocity), helps add coherence to the analysis, as long as the correct acoustic equations are used for harder rock-clay shales.
Abstract Oman's petroleum systems are related to four known source rocks: the Precambrian-Lower Cambrian Huqf, the Lower Silurian Sahmah, the Late Jurassic Shuaiba-Tuwaiq and the Cretaceous Natih. The Huqf and the Natih have sourced almost all the discovered fields in the country. This study examines the shale-gas and shale-oil potential of the Lower Silurian Sahmah in the Omani side of the Rub al Khali basin along the Saudi border. The prospective area exceeds 12,000 square miles (31,300 km). The Silurian hot shale at the base of the Sahmah shale is equivalent to the known world-class source rock, widespread throughout North Africa (Tannezouft) and the Arabian Peninsula (Sahmah/Qusaiba). Both thickness and thermal maturities increase northward toward Saudi Arabia, with an apparent depocentre extending southward into Oman Block 36 where the hot shale is up to 55 m thick and reached 1.4% vitrinite reflectance (in Burkanah-1 and ATA-1 wells). The present-day measured TOC and estimated from log signatures range from 0.8 to 9%. 1D thermal modeling and burial history of the Sahmah source rock in some wells indicate that, depending on the used kinetics, hydrocarbon generation/expulsion began from the Early Jurassic (ca 160 M.a.b.p) to Cretaceous. Shale oil/gas resource density estimates, particularly in countries and plays outside North America remain highly uncertain, due to the lack of geochemical data, the lack of history of shale oil/gas production, and the valuation method undertaken. Based on available geological and geochemical data, we applied both Jarvie (2007) and Talukdar (2010) methods for the resource estimation of: (1) the amount of hydrocarbon generated and expelled into conventional reservoirs and (2) the amount of hydrocarbon retained within the Silurian hot shale. Preliminary results show that the hydrocarbon potential is distributed equally between wet natural gas and oil within an area of 11,000 square mile. The Silurian Sahmah shale has generated and expelled (and/or partly lost) about 116.8 billion of oil and 275.6 TCF of gas. Likewise, our estimates indicate that 56 billion of oil and 273.4 TCF of gas are potentially retained within the Sahmah source rock, making this interval a future unconventional resource play. The average calculated retained oil and gas yields are estimated to be 6 MMbbl/mi (or 117 bbl oil/ac-ft) and 25.3 bcf/mi (or 403 mcf gas/ac-ft) respectively. To better compare our estimates with Advanced Resources International (EIA/ARI) studies on several Silurian shale plays, we also carried out estimates based on the volumetric method. The total oil in-place is 50.2 billion barrels, while the total gas in-place is 107.6 TCF. The average oil and gas yield is respectively 7 MMbbl/mi and 15.5 bcf/mi. Our findings, in term of oil and gas concentration, are in line or often smaller than all the shale oil/gas plays assessed by EIA/ARI and others.