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Abstract: Seeking New Potential in the Early-Late Permian Gharif Play, West Central Oman

Fer Guit, Mohamed Al-Lawati, Peter Nederlof

West Central Oman is a relatively underexplored area where the hydrocarbons found to date occur mainly within the Early-Late Permian Gharif Formation. Structural definition of the low relief closures is hampered by seismic velocity variations caused by dune terrain. Recent exploration activity resulted in several Gharif discoveries, but highlighted reservoir distribution problems. The Gharif Formation, which consists of fluvio-marine sediments, conformably overlies the glacio-lacustrine sediments of the Early Permian Al Khlata Formation. It is overlain by shallow marine carbonates of the Late Permian Khuff Formation, the main regional seal. The area is located distally from the main sediment sources to the east. Reservoir development and lateral continuity are seen as the main risk. Most reservoirs are beyond seismic resolution, only the stacked sandstones of the incised valley fills could provide sufficient acoustic contrast to be recognized on seismic.

Geochemical typing indicates that the hydrocarbons in the Gharif can be grouped in two main families: the Huqf and Q-hydrocarbons, which are believed to originate from Cambrian to Precambrian source rocks. Although the two hydrocarbon families are sometimes found in one well, they have very different spatial distributions. The Q-oils form continuous strings of accumulations below the main regional seal, whereas the Huqf hydrocarbons occur scattered throughout the area. Mixed accumulations are found where cross-faults or salt domes intercept a Q-oil fairway.

Future exploration activities will be guided by refined sedimentological, stratigraphical and hydrocarbon migration models and by the continued efforts to recognize incised valley fills on seismic.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France