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Gas-Condensate Discovery from the Sudair Formation of Kuwait—Exploration Implications for Triassic Plays


Malek, Salah Abdul, S. K. Bhattacharya, Riyasat Hussain, Abdul Aziz Sajer, Terry O’Hearn, King Hoi Lau, Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait


Regionally, the Sudair Formation of Early Triassic age is regarded as the top seal for the underlying Khuff reservoirs. However, in West Kuwait, recent exploration wells in the Mutriba area have established the flow of hydrocarbons from this formation. The Sudair consists of cyclical packages of dolomudstones, laminated to bedded anhydrites and dolomitic shales deposited in an inner ramp lagoonal setting. Conventional reservoir rock quality is poor as porosity is reduced by pore-filling anhydrite. Matrix permeability values typically are <0.01 mD. Fracture analysis shows that the fractures are confined within the dolomudstones and do not extend through the bedded anhydrites. Fracture-related perme­ability values range up to 3.3 mD and flow is attributed to the fracture network preferential­ly developed within the more brittle dolomudstones. Contrary to this over the Burgan High and its northern extension in the eastern Kuwait, the Sudair is relatively thin, characterized by a high percentage of anhydrites and poor reservoir facies.

Geochemical studies confirm the reservoir fluid as thermogenic gas condensate. Carbon isotope studies suggest it is similar to the Qusaiba sourced oils found in Saudi Arabia. This is the first report of Paleozoic sourced hydrocarbons in Kuwait.

The discovery opens up a potential new play in Sudair Formation in the Gulf region. For Kuwait, the Sudair success establishes the presence of a Triassic/Paleozoic Petroleum System and enhances prospectivity of pre- Jurassic plays.