Recent appraisal drilling undertaken by ADNOC in offshore Abu Dhabi has focussed on evaluation of the Middle Jurassic to Permian Deep Gas reservoir sequences. These formations are characterised by low porosity and permeability and typically contain either dry gas or gas condensate fluids. These appraisal activities form part of a larger program leading to development of these resources. Principal uncertainties addressed by appraisal drilling include determining fluid characteristics, reservoir properties and ultimately well deliverability. This paper uses one such recently drilled (typical) appraisal well as an example of the workflow employed.

Exploration drilling of the Middle Jurassic to Permian reservoirs in this field dates back to 1984 and utilised available logging tools and techniques of the time. The current appraisal drilling program built on the results of this work and utilizes the latest available technology and interpretation techniques to both quantify reservoir and fluid properties and minimise subsurface development uncertainties. Typical data acquisition programs includes: conventional coring, advanced mud log data acquisition, triple-combo wireline data, borehole image data, elemental spectroscopy, azimuthal dipole sonic data and formation pressure measurements/samples. The formation evaluation program involved careful analysis and integration of this data to decide at first on formation sampling points and then subsequently testing zones. This approach necessitated the involvement of multiple stakeholders (end-users as well as people performing the interpretation) and required close communication to facilitate rapid, informed, decision making at key stages of the project execution.

These different types of data become available at differing times during the course of drilling a well with the earlier acquired data informing the decision-making process on subsequent data acquisition. The first data to come in were the "mud logs" which includes drilling parameters (such as Rate of Penetration) and gas chromatography. This data provides an initial indication of potential zones of interest, along with fluid type. Following acquisition of wireline data, a "quicklook" formation evaluation was integrated with earlier geological analysis to determine the formation pressure and fluid sampling points.

Combined together, these results formed the basis of an integrated reservoir and saturating fluid interpretation leading to the selection of perforation intervals for well testing. Effective implementation of this work flow requires a collaborative approach combined with ongoing data integration. This process of consultation across multiple subsurface disciplines and stepwise evaluation guiding future data acquisition requires a certain degree of evaluation flexibility but ultimately results in better decisions.

The philosophy of integrating multiple data sources and disciplines in a collaborative evaluation and decision-making work flow is an essential enabler for the exploitation of the Deep Gas resource in Abu Dhabi.

In the example well, test results are in accord with the log interpretation work and provide a path forward towards field development and gas production.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.