This paper reviews the fluid contact analysis of the Marmul Gharif South Rim (MM GSR) heavy oil field in the South of the Sultanate of Oman. The field is highly compartmentalized by several faults into 17 blocks in total with a large variation in well density within those blocks. The reservoir in this field is the shaly-sand Gharif formation, in which the Middle and Lower Gharif are separated from each other by either a paleosol or competent shale. The hydrocarbon in these sands has an observed viscosity variation as a function of height above free water level (HAFWL) due to biodegradation. This variable viscosity has been observed in a large number of oil samples with higher viscosity close to the oil-water contact (OWC). The sands tend to be vertically discontinuous in the wells, so that direct observation of the OWC on logs is very rare, causing most well logs to yield only water up to (WUT) or oil down to (ODT). Accurate pressure gradients are difficult to obtain due to the low density contrast of heavy oil against the fresh formation water. Consequently, the OWC is not readily identified in certain blocks. This has resulted in either over-estimating oil volumes when substituting WUT or under-estimating volumes when substituting ODT in specific blocks of the field. In addition these cases also result in a lack of reliable constraints for estimating high and low case oil contacts.
A viscosity based approach was used to overcome gaps in the fluid contacts data-set and provide essential information for future field development. The approach utilizes the viscosity data in each block to determine representative base case contact along with shallow and deep cases. The results of this analysis were confirmed by production data and are consistant with the ODTs from horizontal wells.
The resulting fluid contact is then used as an input to the saturation height function which is used later as an input to calculate in-place volumes.
Viscosity based contact provides a more robust fluid contact definition in areas where traditional methods resulted in data gaps. The paper presents a detailed methodology of this approach.
The results of this work are an essential component of optimizing the understanding of the fluid contact in the field, which helps to develop the field efficiently by drilling the oil producers and water injectors in more optimum locations.