Datapages, Inc.Print this page

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

Joining the Dots: Cretaceous Prospectivity in the South Rub ‘Al Khali Basin, Saudi Arabia

Michael Moir1; Henk Droste2; Craig Harvey1; Andrew Weedon1

(1) South Rub Al Khali Company Ltd, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

(2) Shell International Exploration & Production, The Hague, Netherlands.

The South Rub ‘al Khali Company Ltd is an Incorporated Joint Venture between Shell Saudi Ventures Limited (50%) and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (50%) and was set up in order to explore for non-associated gas in the South Rub ‘al Khali Basin as part of the Natural Gas Initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Regional geological work by SRAK in its Contract Area 1 has identified both Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphic play opportunities. Contract Area 1 borders the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE where Mesozoic carbonates contribute significant hydrocarbon volumes. In the area across the border into Saudi Arabia the same play levels are relatively immature. However, subtle stratigraphic play and trap types have now come into focus as the majority of identified large structural traps have already been drilled. Mature source rocks are primarily contained within the Jurassic Hanifa and Cretaceous Safaniya, Mishrif and Bab intervals.

SRAKs main challenge is to identify and map these plays using relatively sparse 2D seismic. The Asab ‘Oolite’ level appears as a distinct, mappable belt with reservoir potential and trapping configurations. The Thamama level reveals north east to eastward prograding units. Differences in clinoform angles may help to distinguish between reservoir and non-reservoir facies. Within the Lower Cretaceous Shu’aiba Member three play types are identified: Reefal, Off-lapping Wedges and Lowstand Clastic Wedges.

This presentation will focus on the stratigraphic trap potential within Contract Area 1 in the northeastern part of the Rub ‘al Khali Basin. We will outline how regional geological models coupled with seismic analogues have driven seismic interpretation and enabled SRAK to identify, map and develop subtle but potentially rewarding play types.