The Abiod formation is the principal target in the Miskar field, offshore Tunisia. Consisting of fractured geomechanically stressed carbonate with a measured matrix permeability as low as 0.1 mD. The formation dates from Campanian to lower Maastrichtian and forms a horst structure. The formation has been under production since 1996.

Obtaining formation pressure data was considered critical for determining the magnitude of depletion from production, well-to-well comparisons for vertical and lateral connectivity, forward modeling, completion decisions, and refinement of the field development plan. Historically, this has been a challenge with conventional wireline (WL) formation testers for the following reasons:

  • Severe depletion and well deviation causing differential sticking

  • High temperatures (150 to 195° C) at the limit of tool electronics

  • Low permeability

  • Fractures and breakouts that can impact seal success

This was overcome with a systematic multidisciplinary approach. After review of historical formation testing data, and influence on seal success with probe vs packer elements, it was decided to apply formation-pressure-while-drilling (FPWD) technology. The key questions with FPWD in this environment are: Can we achieve a good transient profile and what is potential impact of supercharging? These questions were addressed with advanced prejob modeling, which enabled determination of an optimized pretest configuration and testing procedure to minimize potential supercharging effects.

While drilling, stage-in procedures were used, and mud logging total gas data were gathered to identify areas of liberated gas. Pre-run wireline petrophysical data were gathered to characterize the Petrophysic of the reservoir and to calculate an intrinsic permeability profile. Ultrasonic borehole images and caliper data were used to determine the principal horizontal stress directions, fracture frequency, and orientation and to confirm the stratigraphyc dipping of the structure. Combined, this information allowed a focused orientation of the FPWD probe and optimal station selection avoiding fractures and breakouts.

This novel approach resulted in 100% seal success, >50% improvement. Four days of rig time were saved, and the required data were obtained.

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