Western Abu Dhabi locates in the west of Rub Al Khali Basin, which is an intra-shelf basin during the Late Cretaceous. The Shilaif source, Mishrif reservoir and Tuwayil seal forms one of the Upper Cretaceous important petroleum systems in the western Abu Dhabi Onshore. However, less commercial discoveries have been achieved within Mishrif Formation during the past 60 years since the large scale structures were not developed in western Abu Dhabi and the stratigraphic traps have not been attracted attention.

This study aims to investigate the exploration potential of both Mishrif structural and stratigraphic traps. It provided detailed study on Shilaif source rock, Mishrif shoal/reef reservoir and Tuwayil seal capability. Oil-source rock correlation, reservoir predication and basin modeling have been carried out for building Mishrif hydrocarbon accumulation model by integration of samplings, wire loggings and 2D&3D seismic data. Shilaif Formation is composed of laminated, organic-rich, bioclastic and argillaceous lime-mudstones and its generated hydrocarbon migrated trending to high structures. Three progradational reefs/shoals in Mishrif Formation were deposited along the platform margin, which are characterized by high porosity and permeability. Tuwayil Formation consists of 10-15ft shale interbedding with tight sandstone, acting as the cap rock of Mishrif reservoirs.

Mishrif hydrocarbon accumulation mechanism has been summarized as a model of structural background controls on hydrocarbon migration trend and shoal/reef controls on hydrocarbon accumulation. It is consequently concluded that Mishrif reefs/shoals overlapping with structural background are the favorable exploration prospects, and oil charging is controlled by heterogeneity inside a reef/shoal, the higher porosity and permeability, the higher oil saturation. Two wells have been proposed based on the hydrocarbon accumulation model, and discovered a stratigraphic reservoir with high testing production. This discovery encourages a new idea for stratigraphic traps exploration, as well as implicates the great exploration potential in western Abu Dhabi.

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