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Potential Non-Tertiary Additional Oil Recovery from Heterogeneous Submarine-Fan Reservoirs, Spraberry-Benedum Field, Midland Basin, Texas

Edgar H. Guevara, John G. Worrall, Timothy Walter

The Spraberry-Benedum field is a multipay, solution-gas drive, combined structural-stratigraphic trap. It contains approximately 200 million bbl of original oil in place and has been waterflooded since 1967. Producing intervals are in the Spraberry formation (Permian, Leonardian), which in this area consists of mixed-sediment submarine-fan deposits (upper and lower Spraberry) and basin-plain facies (middle Spraberry). Principal oil reservoirs, with 12% average porosity and permeabilities of less than 1 md, occur in the lower and upper Spraberry. They consist of naturally fractured, very fine-grained sandstones and coarse siltstones of braided and meandering, peripheral channels and associated outer fan facies. Complex facies architecture results in highly heterogeneous re ervoirs. Oil accumulations are layered because basin-plain shales vertically separate submarine-fan reservoirs, and they are laterally compartmentalized due to the channelization of reservoir rocks.

Production trends locally parallel to facies trends indicate that recovery is influenced by reservoir stratigraphy. Well locations, based only on structural position and fracture orientation, commonly do not conform to the axes of belts of greatest sandstone-siltstone thickness, which contain the best reservoirs. Furthermore, completion intervals do not systematically tap both lower and upper Spraberry reservoirs. Ultimate recovery will be improved by aggressive development programs aimed at producing from poorly drained traps created by reservoir heterogeneities. Recompletion and deepening of wells, strategic infill drilling, and injection patterns in such programs should be based on detailed reservoir stratigraphy, in addition to structure and fracture data.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.