Carbonates are infamous for their complex intrinsic heterogeneity, exaggerated due to stratification and layered geology. Characterization and correlation of this heterogeneity with recovery mechanisms becomes critical pertaining to Lower Cretaceous reservoir ‘A’ with over 4 decades of production/injection history. Hence, it is pertinent to systematically reduce the uncertainties associated with reservoir characterization by delineating high permeability streaks, permeability-contrasts, links between geological and petrophysical facies and their impact on field scale production/injection strategies.
Emphasis was put on capturing downhole dynamic Kv/Kh profile across sub layers of the reservoir ‘A’, to enable assignment of representative values into reservoir simulation model with associated reservoir zonation. Vertical interference testing (VIT) was designed in a crestal location well with a history of near-by waterflooding, integrating simulator-based outputs with petrophysical and borehole image logs of an offset. Drawdown-buildup cycle was performed across source probe or packer, while simultaneous monitoring of pressure at observation probe. To reduce uncertainty and incorporate statistical sense into the data, multiple cycles of drawdown-buildup were conducted for vertical connectivity evaluation.
In total, eleven VIT tests conducted with formation tester tool utilizing dual-straddle-packer and two-probe modules were interpreted implementing a systematic approach considering vertical communication as a function of geological facies and textural aspects from borehole images, geological information on fractures/faults, and surfaces. Interpretation involves identification of flow-units based on available logs, followed by identification of flow regimes (spherical/radial) to history-match data for estimation of horizontal and vertical permeabilities of each layer. Resultant analysis yielded insights on anisotropy by validating vertical communication through stylolite and across dense layers. Integration of VIT analysis results (Kh,Kv,Kv/Kh) with petrophysical logs led to the establishment of water flood advancement mechanism in this observation well at the crestal location of field. This establishes a critical link between integrated geological, textural and facies analysis in context of sedimentology, layering and rock quantified fabric permeability indicators visible on high vertical and horizontal resolution borehole image. Thereby, allowing derivation of scalable answer products and workflows. Subsequently, explaining water flood mechanism and enabling updating of simulation model for enhanced reservoir characterization. Furthermore, this also allows for field development augmentation and injection strategy optimization through linking of dynamic results to reservoir description of two major sub-layers of this giant carbonate field.
Integration and analysis of key insights on vertical communication and carbonate anisotropy with major geological/petrophysical features aided in characterizing 3D static and dynamic models. This would allow improved trajectory planning of future wells, leading to improvement in recovery efficiency through guided injection strategy. Additionally, proactive data aggregation and insightful interpretation to help accelerate realization of value from field development strategy was highlighted.