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Integrating XRD and Well Logging Data to Establish Electro-Facies and Permeability Models for an Unconventional Heterogeneous Tight Gas Reservoir, Obaiyed Giant Gas Field

Ibrahim Mabrouk

Abstract: Formation evaluation in heterogeneous reservoirs can be very challenging especially in fields that extend over several kilometers in area where the permeability varies from 0.1 mD up to 1000 D within the same porosity. The porosity, hydrocarbon saturation and net sand thickness in most of Obaiyed field wells are consistent; hence, the productivity of these wells is enormously dependent on the reservoir permeability. Since the permeability is highly heterogeneous, initial production rate of the wells varies between few MMSCFD to almost one hundred MMSCFD. The huge permeability variation led to a tremendous uncertainty in the dynamic modeling, which resulted in an inaccurate production forecast affecting the field economics estimation. Understanding permeability distribution and heterogeneity in Obaiyed field is the key factor for establishing a realistic permeability model, which will lead to a successful field development strategy. Extensive work was performed to understand key factors that govern the permeability in Obaiyed using the data of 1-kilometer length of cores acquired in more than 50 wells covering different reservoir properties in the field. Core data were used to separate the reservoir into different Hydraulic Flow Units (HFU) according to Amaefule's work performed on the Kozeny-Carmen model. Afterwards, a correlation between the HFU and well logs was established using IPSOM Electro-Facies module in order to define the flow units in un-cored wells. The result of this correlation was used to calibrate a Porosity-Permeability relationship for each flow unit. The next step was examining the clay-type distribution and diagenesis in each flow unit using the petrographic analysis (XRD) results from the core xdata. All factors controlling the permeability can now be represented in hydraulic flow units which are considered as a method of measurement of the reservoir quality. Consequently, property maps were constructed showing the location and continuity of each of the flow units, leading to a more deterministic approach in the well placement process. Based on this new work methodology, a production cut-off criteria relating the reservoir productivity to both clay minerals presence and percentages was established for multiple wells scenarios. As a result, the development strategy of the field changed from only vertical wells to include horizontal wells as well which proved to be the only economic approach to produce the Illite dominated zones. This paper presents a workflow to provide a representative estimation of permeability in extremely heterogeneous reservoirs especially the ones dominated by complex clay distribution.
Keywords: artificial intelligence / permeability value / well logging / fluid dynamics / machine learning / flow in porous media / clay content / log analysis / upstream oil & gas / hfu-4

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