Complex pore size distributions encountered in carbonate rocks have a large impact on the fluid flow characteristics of carbonate reservoirs. Consequently, although nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been frequently used for characterization of clastic reservoirs, it has not been widely applied to carbonates. This paper describes a case study from the Shuaiba carbonate reservoir of the Al Shaheen field, offshore Qatar. Core data from a study well were used to establish an NMR carbonate rock-typing model for permeability estimation. The rock-typing model was verified in the study well with a wireline NMR logging tool.

Core analysis included thin-section petrography, NMR surface relaxivity, mercury injection, porosity and permeability measurements. NMR distributions determined on core were partitioned and linked to pore body size and pore throat size distributions. Several rock types were also defined based on their NMR and petrographic characteristics. To improve permeability prediction in the cored interval of the study well, an NMR-based permeability equation was derived.

The core-calibrated NMR carbonate rock typing model was applied to noncored sections of horizontal wells drilled in the Shuaiba formation having logging-while-drilling (LWD) NMR data to improve rock typing and permeability estimation, thus, providing valuable input data for reservoir modeling.


Permeability estimation and rock typing of the complex Shuaiba carbonate reservoir in the Al Shaheen Field is an important element in the development of reliable petrophysical and geological models. Rose et al. demonstrated that facies changes along horizontal wells in the Shuaiba reservoir were captured by the T2 distribution from an LWD NMR tool. The corresponding permeability variation was linked to the facies, and a qualitative determination of the lateral permeability distribution was achieved.

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