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Detailed Mapping of Fluvial Sand Bodies Improves Perforating Strategy at Kern River Field

KODL, E. J., Caltex Indonesia, Bakersfield, CA, and D. A. BRELIH,* Texaco, Inc., Bakersfield, CA

The producing sands of the Kern River field were deposited by the ancestral Kern River as a series of stacked, and often interconnected, sand bodies. Individual channel sands combine to create composite sand bodies that range from 5 to 100 ft in thickness and from 100 ft to as much as several miles in lateral extent. This high degree of variability in both the thickness and areal extent of the oil-bearing sands inevitably produces sands not conducive to orderly and predictable steam displacement. These sand bodies, which alone are not capable of physically or economically supporting a steamflood, may be overlooked or inefficiently perforated. However, careful planning allows for these sands to be more fully exploited when the conditions for natural gravity drainage are optimum. In the Kern River field, this means taking advantage of oil viscosity reductions (pre-heating) realized when the underlying sand is being actively steamflooded. In addition to the importance of timing, detailed geologic reconstructions of individual sand channels are essential to enable selective perforating of those producers which are best able to effectively produce the sand body. An efficient and timely production program under these conditions demands a high degree of communication between the geologist and the engineer, and insures maximum productivity from sands deposited in a complex fluvial depositional environment. A field study is included.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)