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Simulation of Production for Paradox Basin Algal Mounds.

Tufeg Balmshkan and Robert Balch
Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC), New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

The purpose of this project was to use, seismic analysis and reservoir simulation of prolific algal mounds in the Ismay and Desert Creek formations of the Paradox basin to determine if there could be any further development for North Mail Trail field. The field has production from two wells, and both wells had high initial production rate, followed by a productive life typical of Paradox Basin fields. The algal mound oil bearing formations in the Paradox Basin is typically vuggy and fractured limestone’s and fields tend to overproduce their expected 25% recovery rate. Reservoir simulation and history matching for the North Mail Trail field was achieved by using Landmark’s Nexus-VIP software to simulate the fluid flow in the reservoir after a 3D seismic based geomodel was created. The Hovenweep shale separates the Upper and Lower Ismay in the target field. Horizontal and vertical seals were added to model the effect of mound accretion on fluid movement between layers in some of the simulation studies. Separation of the two producing intervals alone was not enough to achieve a reasonable history match since the perforation in one of the wells penetrated both layers. Therefore we also added vertical impermeable seals in the Lower Ismay to model compartmentalization of algal mound depositional sequences. Since there is no pressure support in the reservoir, or interference between the drainage areas of both wells, it can be concluded that the field is fully developed by the existing wells.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90152©2012 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Fort Worth, Texas, 19-22 May 2012