Lukoil Saudi Arabia started a tight gas exploration campaign in the Rub Al-Khali Empty Quarter in 2006 and nine wildcat exploration wells have been drilled and evaluated. These prospective tight gas discoveries in the Empty Quarter have occurred in High Pressure and High Temperature (HPHT) horizons at depths between 12,000 and 20,000 feet, where the stress and temperature are extremely high in addition to micro-Darcy levels of reservoir permeability. This has made the exploration activity more challenging.
To overcome the extreme challenges and to help assure the success of the exploration activity, a new drilling, completion, and fracturing strategy was implemented in one of the most recent wells. The synergy of the new strategy steps resulted in the first successful discovery in the Sarah formation.
This paper presents the open hole compartmentalized completion steps, as well as the selective fracture stimulation strategy and challenges that have lead to the first successful tight gas discovery in the Sarah formation.