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Geologic Constraints to Fluid Flow in the Jurassic Arab D Reservoir, Eastern Saudi Arabia

LAING, JOSEPH EARL, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

A giant oil field located in eastern Saudi Arabia has produced several billion barrels of 37 degree API oil from fewer than 100 wells. The Upper Jurassic Arab Formation is the main producing unit, and is made up of a series of upward-shoaling carbonate and anhydrite members. Porous carbonates of the Arab D member make up the principle oil reservoir, and the overlying Arab D anhydrite provides the seal. Principal reservoir facies are stromatoporoid-coral and skeletal grainstones. Reservoir drive is currently provided by flank water injection.

Despite more than 30 years of flank water injection (1.5 billion bbl) into the northern area of the field, a thick oil column remains in the Arab D reservoir. Geological factors which affect fluid flow in this area are (1) a downdip facies change from permeable skeletal-stromatoporoid limestone to less permeable micritic limestone, (2) vertical permeability barriers resulting from shoaling-upward cycles, (3) a downdip tar mat, (4) dolomite along the flanks in the upper portion of the reservoir, (5) highly permeable intervals within the skeletal-stromatoporoid limestone, and (6) an updip, north to south facies change from predominately stromatoporoid-coral grainstone to skeletal grainstone. These factors are considered in reservoir modeling, simulation studies, and planning locations f r both water injection and producer wells.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)