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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

Mapping Regional Faults with Geological, Seismic and Potential Field Data - A Case Study from Kuwait

Rinaldi Mulyono1; Riyasat Husain1; Abdul Aziz H. Sajer1; Parmjit Singh1; Anand Prakash1; Nada Mohammad Ammar Amar1

(1) Exploration Group-Exploration Studies Team, Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait.

The state of Kuwait is endowed with commercial hydrocarbon accumulations at Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary levels. These accumulations are dominantly structural entrapments affected by multiple sets of faults. The faults not only play a dominant role in structure formation but also control flow characteristics of the tight reservoirs by fracturing. In view of the above, a regional fault mapping initiative has been taken up.

In a synergistic approach gravity, magnetic, 2D and 3D seismic, image log and core data has been analysed to map the regional fault framework and to evaluate its role in hydrocarbon entrapment. Innovative visualization techniques such as 3D curvature, spectral decomposition and semblance volume are employed for enhancing the subtle fault expressions. These faults mapped in the areas of 3D coverage are linked to the regional framework brought out by the 2D and potential field data.

The structural framework of Kuwait is broadly defined by two major elements. The N-S trending Kuwait Arch is the most conspicuous feature which encompasses Burgan, Bahrah, Sabiriyah and Umm-Niqa structures. The NW-SE trending West Kuwait High encompasses Umm-Gudair, Minagish, Kahlulah, Kra Al-Maru and Mutriba structures. These dominant trends are offset by dominantly E-W, ENE-WSW and NE-SW trending cross faults. These faults and associated structures evolved at different times and as a result of different causative mechanisms. The Kuwait Arch represents basement-involved deformation with multiple phases of reactivation while West Kuwait High is located on gravity magnetic lows, indicate diapirism as the causative mechanism for structuration. The study established the usefulness of regional fault system mapping in deciphering the tectonic history and controls on hydrocarbon entrapment in Kuwait.