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Reviving a Dormant Opportunity: The Mabrouk Deep Gas Discovery


The Mabrouk oil and gas field (Gharif Formation), located in North Oman approximately 40 km west of Saih Rawl, was discovered in 1980 by the exploration well Mabrouk-1. Following the discovery, two deep wells Mabrouk-4 & 12 were drilled targeting the deeper Barik and Miqrat reservoirs of the Haima Supergroup, the same Formations that are producing in the main gas fields further to the east. The wells found gas in the Miqrat reservoir, but the flow rates were deemed non-commercial and the exploration campaign was subsequently abandoned. A renewed interest in the field in 2008 led to the acquisition of new 3D. Re-mapping of the major reservoirs led to a surprising discovery that both wells had been drilled on the flanks of the Mabrouk structure. Hence, a dormant opportunity was revived and Mabrouk-32 was drilled in 2012, about 5km updip of Mabrouk-4. The well encountered both Barik and Miqrat sandstones as fully gas-bearing with very good reservoir properties. Given the potential size of the structure, covering approximately 60 km2, it was decided to immediately drill an appraisal well to assess the field's potential. Thus the appraisal well Mabrouk-35 was drilled down flank to confirm gas-water contacts. The results came in as expected, confirming the presence of almost 3 TCF of Gas-In-Place making it one of the biggest gas discoveries in the Sultanate of Oman in the past decade. The Barik and Miqrat reservoirs in Mabrouk-32 were hydraulically fracced and tested in late 2012. The well exceeded expectations, producing approximately 80 mln scf/d of wet gas with significant amounts of condensate. An overall net pay of 200m was evaluated. Furthermore, reservoir character, porosities and gas saturations are very similar to those found in the major Saih Rawl field. To add to the exploration success, the Mabrouk Deep field development was accelerated with the hook up of the discovery well to the existing infrastructure. Mabrouk-32 started production in January 2013, 10 months after reaching total depth, a historic achievement indeed. Almost 1 TCF has been booked at the end of 2012 and the initial development of the field is expected to address about 40% of this volume. It is an excellent example of perseverance and an encouragement to continue the quest for such hidden treasures.