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Reservoir Architecture and Fluid Connectivity in an Abu Dhabi Oil Accumulation

Erik Tegelaar, Peter Nederlof, Chakib Kloucha, Osemoahu Omobude, Haifa Al Harbi

Abstract: Summary Developing an understanding of reservoir architecture and fluid connectivity is a challenging, but essential task for well, reservoir and facilities management (WRFM). Insight into fluid connectivity (both static and dynamic) can be obtained from molecular fingerprinting of crude oil samples. Oil fingerprinting is also applied for allocation of commingled fluid streams, and in time-lapse mode it can even help to understand fluid flow in the subsurface. Results from fingerprinting studies are directly used as constraints for static and dynamic reservoir models. A basic requirement for most fingerprinting applications is an understanding of the initial, pre-production fluid distribution. The limited availability of pre-production fluids has until now been a major constraint for the widespread application of oil fingerprinting in the industry. Reservoir rock samples contain enough residual hydrocarbons for fluid fingerprinting. Reservoir core and cuttings samples are widely available and thus provide an excellent opportunity to increase the spatial coverage of fluid fingerprints in a reservoir. A major challenge, however, is the accuracy and reproducibility of existing fingerprinting methods, which are insufficient in the chromatographic range of the ‘heavier’, non-volatile, hydrocarbons remaining in reservoir rock samples. This paper describes the application of a new, high resolution, molecular fingerprinting technology that resolves these limitations. This so-called Compound Class Specific Fingerprinting (CCSF) technique has unprecedented accuracy and reproducibility over the full analytical window, which makes it suitable for fingerprinting of both oils and extracts. An added benefit of this approach is that the additional compound class information may help to resolve why fluids are different, as not all differences are related to reservoir connectivity. As a first test, the new CCSF technology has been applied to fluid samples from an offshore field in Abu Dhabi. Two specific aspects are highlighted in this paper: Assessment of vertical compartmentalization and fault transmissibility of four stacked reservoirs in a highly fractured zone. Even in this highly fractured zone, a barrier to vertical fluid flow was identified between the top reservoir and the three underlying reservoirs, which contain slightly different oil. The improved resolution of the CCSF method, combined with the molecular information it provides, made it possible to demonstrate that the fluids in the lower reservoirs are vertically connected and that gravity segregation has created a compositional gradient. These conclusions could not have been reached with existing fingerprinting technologies. Identify opportunities for production monitoring. Some of the reservoirs in this field show strong compositional gradients related to the complex charge history and incomplete fluid mixing. Fluid surveillance of the mid-flank producers will help identify the efficiency of the gas and water injection schemes that are simultaneously applied to this reservoir. In addition, fluid surveillance will help to predict water and/or gas breakthrough.
Keywords: enhanced recovery / resolution / reservoir characterization / upstream oil & gas / reservoir architecture / chemical tracer / reservoir simulation / information / fluid sample / geochemical characterization

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