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Use of Information Technologies to Address Reservoir Compartments in the Permian Gas Fields of Southwest Kansas

Carr, Timothy R., Martin K. Dubois, Alan P. Byrnes
Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

After more than 75 years and over 30 Tcf of production from Permian gas reservoirs, the Hugoton embayment of southwest Kansas remains one of the most prolific gas producing areas in North America. The Hugoton and Panoma gas fields cover 7000 sq. km, and contain 9,973 producing wells. In 2002, the two fields produced over 332 Bcf from numerous zones within the Permian Chase and Council Grove groups. Using complex, relational and automated data analysis procedures to evaluate the fields as a reservoir system can address the challenge of maintaining production from these large, mature and extremely data-rich fields. Previous attempts at reservoir analysis were restricted to small subsets of the data, and did not take full advantage of information technology to manage and integrate databases to examine large parts of the fields.

Over the last 5 years, over 25,000 wells have been examined and diverse geological and engineering information assembled into relational databases. Technologies such as relational queries to merge geologic and engineering information, neural networks, geostatistics, fast flowpath modeling, and advanced visualization are employed to generate a better understanding of the migration, trapping, production and current distribution of hydrocarbons at both regional and local levels. One result is the mapping of distinct reservoir compartments based on variations in pressure, gas quality and water production across potential fault zones. The recognition of large-scale heterogeneity and improved reservoir characterization can be used to maintain production through targeted application of new approaches to improve recovery at field and single well level.