A heavy oil field (Field X) in Northern Kuwait is in the early stages of development but it is clear from production pilots that tight units (baffles) of variable lithology, thickness and continuity, within the reservoir will play a key role in influencing steam conformance and recovery efficiency. The high well/core density of the field’s production startup area allows re-evaluation of baffles in light of cross-discipline integration of pilot production data, petrophysical data and detailed core review.

A process was followed to update and calibrate all core descriptions against logs, follow a consistently picked set of petrophysically defined markers, compare visually defined lithofacies with log defined ones, and then map out key surfaces. The key next step is to define appropriate reservoir properties by facies/rock types, apply these to understanding pilot behaviour and predict steam conformance for Well, Reservoir and Facilities Management (WRFM) and the next phases of the wider field development planning. The field’s baffles play a role far beyond just understanding steam conformance, they are a first barrier for cap rock integrity and their presence/absence will also influence the path and rate of the aquifer influx.

The petrophysical redefinition (Baffle Quality Index) of a "semi-stratigraphic" interval - which will stop or slow steam migration depending on its quality and lateral extent - has enabled efficient communication about the baffle, and allowed the wider team of petroleum engineers from a number of subsurface disciplines to focus on dynamic properties impacting recovery – steam conformance, aquifer influx, windows between isolated reservoir units – and then evolve the development strategy, effectively respond to WRFM issues, optimize observation and infill well placement and increase UR in a cost effective way.

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