This paper summarises the results of an intense reservoir appraisal programme that was conducted within a sour gas reservoir, onshore UAE, in order to determine the controls on porosity presence, distribution and effectiveness. This multiwell study was conducted over less than 5 years in order to define and predict porosity sweet-spots, and prepare for first gas, which was achieved in 2015. Focus is on the Arab D Member of the Arab Formation, the thickest and volumetrically most significant reservoir interval. It comprises an upward-cleaning succession of lime mudstone, peloidal and skeletal packstone and oolitic grainstone, culminating in a clay-rich, brecciated emergent surface. The entire succession shallows upwards from very low energy, basinal mudstones into cross-bedded oolitic grainstones that were deposited in a shoal complex that protected a gently agitated lagoon. Low skeletal diversity and the abundance of ooids are indicative of slightly elevated salinities; the abundance of anhydrite within the overalying Arab A/B/C and Hith Formation is indicative of basin dessication.
The lowermost Arab D Member is dominated by lime mudstones and is highly microporous. A very low matrix permeability is locally enhanced by short, partially cemented, vertical fractures formed perpendicular to stylolites, usually cutting thin skeletal floatstone beds with abundant biomoulds. The main reservoir interval is the overlying upper Arab D Member. Porosity occurs principally as intraparticle micorporosity in ooids but in the uppermost upper Arab D Member, interparticle cement volumes are lower and macropores are preserved. The best reservoir properties occur within this bioturbated oolitic grainstone facies, and in cross-bedded oolitic grainstone near the palaeo-crest of the field, probably because early oil emplacement inhibited cementation. There is good evidence that the base of the upper Arab D Member and the lower Arab D member are in communication. Although there is evidence of thermochemical sulphate reduction in the Arab D Member, it is volumetrically minor and unlikely to have generated the high volumes of H2S that are known to occur in the field.