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ABSTRACT: Modern Technology in an Old Area--Bay Marchand Field Revisited

W. L. Abriel, P. S. Neale, J. S. Tissue, R. M. Wright

Bay Marchand Field, a giant Gulf of Mexico oil field discovered in 1949, is undergoing renewed drilling activity as the result of a three-dimensional (3-D) seismic survey. The field, situated over a large salt diapir, is characterized by complex fault systems and typical Gulf Coast regressive sedimentation. As of 1989, over 700 wells had produced 518 MMBO and 379 bcfg of gas from the field. The 3-D survey covers over 60 mi2 and was shot for the following objectives: (1) to delineate new pools, (2) to review mature areas for additional development opportunities, and (3) to assist in reservoir management.

Geophysically, the survey was designed to cover all common-depth-point bins and to provide for maximum horizontal and vertical resolution. The difficulty of obtaining such full coverage was heightened by numerous surface facilities dotting the field, but the data were successfully acquired through state-of-the-art techniques.

To date, structural interpretation of the survey has led to a better definition of the salt/sediment interface and good correlation of fault patterns and the resulting reservoir geometries. Stratigraphically, better understanding of paleoenvironments, log correlations, and sand distribution has resulted. The benefits of these improvements are manifested in several new successful wells in both mature and undeveloped portions of the field as well as the recognition that other wells are now no longer necessary. Also, secondary recovery programs, specifically waterfloods, are being improved. The result will be an increase in total reserves as well as daily production.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990