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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Portfolio Rejuvenation in a Mature Hydrocarbon Province, Sultanate of Oman

Aly Brandenburg1; Sulaiman Kindy1; Previous HitSvenTop Scholten1; Timothy Johnson1; William Wilks1; Kees de Leeuw1; Fernando A. Neves1; Paul Matheny1; Jan Schreurs1

(1) Exploration, PDO, Muscat, Oman.

The Sultanate of Oman has seen over 50 years of exploration and over 40 years of oil production. The petroleum systems span over 800 Million years of geological rock record, and over 40 plays have been identified. It comes as no surprise that most of the structural plays are heavily creamed. PDO exploration has continued to be successful in this mature but prolific hydrocarbon basin, by sustained effort and focus on rejuvenating the portfolio. Significant potential remains in stratigraphic traps, deep plays and unconventional hydrocarbon systems. Technology and play based exploration are seen as key enablers to deliver this potential.

3D Seismic capabilities within PDO are undergoing a revolution at the moment. An aggressive exploration campaign acquiring over 8000 km2 of high quality 3D seismic to unlock the potential of pre-salt and intra-salt plays is underway. The step change in seismic imaging quality combined with new quantitative interpretation methods are essential components not just in salt related plays but also in delineating stratigraphic traps within the shallower plays. Alternative delineation methods considered are also novel drilling techniques and non-seismic geophysical techniques.

New technologies, in combination with regional play based evaluation, have resulted in the identification and high grading of several attractive new play segments: 1) a thrust faulted play segment within the yet to be proven pre-salt play, 2) a northwards extension of the prolific intra salt Stringer play, 3) an extension of the challenging intra-salt Athel silicilyte play, and 4) a stratigraphic play segment within the Gharif.