Abstract

With estimated reserves of over 2.8 billion bbl oil, the supergiant Wilmington field is the largest productive area in the Los Angeles basin, one of the world's most prolific petroleum provinces. Similar to most other fields in the basin, Wilmington produces from thick sequences of upper Miocene-Pliocene slope and basin-floor turbidites ranging from well indurated to unconsolidated in character. Due to a range of factors, enhanced recovery in these reservoirs has been incomplete or inefficient, with the result that a substantial remaining resource exists. To help devise improved methods for exploiting this resource, the U.S. Department of Energy has included portions of Wilmington field in its "Class 3 [slope and basin clastic reservoirs] Oil Recovery Field Demonstration Program." At present, two projects are underway: one aimed at identifying bypassed pay, and the other project aimed at improving tertiary recovery operations. Both projects have employed advanced reservoir characterization techniques and have demonstrated considerable success. Results of this work should have wide application to slope and basin clastic reservoirs elsewhere. Part 1 of the following two-part paper presents a summary of work completed thus far.

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