The Lower Fars (LF) sandstone reservoir in Northern Kuwait( NK) is probably the single largest accumulation of heavy oil (HO, μ > 100 cP) in Kuwait, containing somewhere in the range of 12-15 Bb distributed over an area of ~1000 km2 northwest of Kuwait City against the Iraqi border. There are other heavy oil accumulations in Kuwait, mainly in naturally fractured carbonate strata, but they are of smaller size and of lower quality. Although a small resource in comparison to Canadian and Venezuelan HO resource, the Lower Fars reservoir nonetheless represents a significant fraction of Kuwaiti resources.

Compared to viscous oil deposits elsewhere in the world, the LF asset is shallow, of generally higher porosity and permeability, and of lower viscosity with a significant variation in fluid properties with depth and with location in the large reservoir. These characteristics will lead to the deployment of a number of production technologies similar to but somewhat different from Canadian experience, with the potential for generally greater recovery factors and lower costs than in Canada. Furthermore, a general situation is emerging in the Kuwait region that may be unusually favorable for heavy oil development, and these positive factors include:

  • Availability of diluents and natural gas for production process,

  • Capital availability for upgrading investment,

  • Sources of low-cost heat.

This confluence of excellent reservoir properties, existing commercialized technologies with a reasonable history of commercialization, a good infrastructure, and supportive emerging supportive conditions will make the development of the LF a less costly venture than comparable cases in Canada and Venezuela.

In this paper the latest studies in reservoir evaluation and various screening techniques for selection of optimal production technologies will be presented. We will revisit the concept of deliberate sequencing of processes, planning in advance for such strategies. We will even speculate on how local heat sources might be integrated into production processes.

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