Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) portfolio of heavy-oil, fractured carbonate prospects and fields contains a potentially large number of EOR opportunities, many of which present unique subsurface challenges. In the context of evaluating one such field, an EOR screening approach was developed combining subsurface definition through a tailor-made appraisal campaign, coupled with technical & economic feasibility evaluation of candidate EOR methods and benchmarking against other fields globally. This paper presents the screening workflow that will serve as template for the evaluation of future EOR opportunities in heavy-oil, fractured carbonate discoveries in PDO.

At the outset of the reservoir characterization of this field it was recognized that the application of any EOR technique would be challenging. High oil viscosities coupled with shallow depths render it a candidate for thermal EOR and potentially chemical concepts. However, key uncertainties in basic subsurface parameters such as reservoir architecture, matrix permeability, fracture spacing and (low) oil saturations, necessitated further data gathering before feasibility of any recovery mechanism could be concluded.

Based on literature surveys and examination of showstopper properties, a first-pass screening of a multitude of thermal and chemical EOR methods was conducted. A probabilistic assessment of key subsurface parameters was conducted against which the candidate EOR techniques were ranked. This resulted in the identification of SAGOGD, CSS, ISC and novel-chemical flooding as the most promising EOR methods.

For each of these methods the critical subsurface parameters and their impact were further assessed through the combination of (1) an appraisal campaign that included drilling of new wells, conventional production & pressure interference testing to constrain the uncertainties in these parameters and (2) Fit-for-purpose modeling (analytical analysis, sector modeling and full-field simulation) to check project feasibility.

It was found that none of the thermal recovery methods are technically or economically feasible, but chemical methods are being investigated further.

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