Abstract

Appraisal program of the deep gas/light oil from unconventional reservoirs in North Kuwait is strategically important to secure the challenging hydrocarbon production targets of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). A very deep high-temperature/high pressure (HT/HP) dolomitic formation is at approximately 15, 000 ft (vertical), poses complex completion and producibility challenges. Exhaustive log suite and core analyses confirm some porosity development and gas shows. Unlike the proven carbonates up-hole in the same asset, the deepest dolomite units have extremely low permeability, and may not flow unless enhanced by a natural fissure network and/or hydraulic fracturing.

Only a few wells have been attempted for completion in these deepest dolomite layers, which failed to flow even after matrix acidizing treatments. The effective completion design will require good understanding of formation mechanical properties and fluid leakoff behavior, leading to optimal horizontal wells to maximize reservoir exposure completed with multiple hydraulic fracturing treatments to establish hydrocarbon production at commercially acceptable rates. Therefore, properly designed and effectively executed extensive fracture diagnostic tests are critical in the current pre-appraisal stage. In addition, multiple acid-fracturing treatments have already contributed to the understanding of fracture geometry development and fracture flowback characteristics.

A fracture diagnostics workflow was developed and deployed to appraise the deepest dolomite layers. Critical fracture mechanics data were collected and analyzed. The main fracturing treatments have also yielded crucial results, which will help the design team in optimizing the horizontal well completions. This comprehensive workflow can be successfully applied in characterizing challenging formations elsewhere where the well and regional data are limited in the appraisal of similar light oil/tight gas-bearing unconventional carbonates.

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