Full field development of the Upper Jurassic carbonates, offshore Abu Dhabi is exceedingly challenging. The heterogeneous texture, complicated pore systems and intensive lithology changes all mark the regressive cycles of sedimentation. Such complicated characteristics obscure formation evaluation of these formations. Advanced well logging tools and interpretation methodologies are implemented to minimize the petrophysical uncertainties to qualify the products as field development critical elements. This case study highlights a newly applied NMR log interpretation approach. The results help to understand the complex pore system in a tight carbonate layer, along a horizontal drain drilled close to the oil-water contact.
NMR log data was acquired in real-time while drilling simultaneously with Gamma Ray, Resistivity and Image Logs. Earlier field studies recommended swapping standard T2 free fluid relaxation cutoff values by actual laboratory NMR measurements for a higher precision suitable for the reservoir texture heterogeneity, the study itself supported the application of higher cutoff values to better discriminate the free fluid in well-connected macro pores from the irreducible which will have a direct impact on the computed permeability.
In this case study, a variable free-fluid T2 cutoff was firstly implemented based on arbitrary estimations to match the computed Coates permeability to the offset core values. Free-fluid, irreducible fluids were sequentially computed. A unique NMR-Gamma Inversion (NMR-GI) workflow is further utilized as a mathematically defined approach to process the raw data using probabilistic functions. The result is a more precise pore size distribution, coherent with the geological variations. NMR Capillary pressure was computed.
The complex formation texture could be accurately tracked for thousands of feet drilled along the horizontal drain. After validation with offset core, the NMR-GI interpretation was combined with, Archie saturation and Image log analysis for a conclusive assessment. Hydraulic flow units were combined. Successful completion design and production zone selection articulated on the defined open hole log interpretation.
NMR while drilling logging and the applied (NMR-GI) methodology prove to be leading tools to assist in resolving carbonate reservoir complexities. Not only that they help to understand the pore system characteristics, but they effectively support well placement, completion and production.