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Fluvial-estuarine channel complexes are significant producing reservoirs both onshore and offshore western Trinidad. These channel complexes are notoriously difficult to correlate in the subsurface. Numerous permeability baffles and barriers create complex reservoir heterogeneities that can result in significant bypassed hydrocarbons if the geometry and architecture of the channel bodies are incorrectly identified and not correlated in a rigorous sequence-stratigraphic framework.

Outcrops of tidally influenced nonmarine channel complexes and modern deposi-tional analogs are used to determine architectural elements and bounding surfaces that impact reservoir continuity and heterogeneity, thus, highlighting subsurface correlation pitfalls. These elements and surfaces that are established from the outcrops are used for the examination of cores, well-log, and seismic data of strata deposited in analogous depositional systems.

The subsurface and the outcrop geologic models are used in two reservoir-modeling scenarios: first, to refine subsurface reservoir models for horizontal well placement, leading to a more effective depletion strategy for the reservoir, and second, the modeling of a field simulation using outcrop exposures of a channel complex as a producing analog. The result of the simulation runs was a similar recovery from the “field” with far fewer wells, showing that substantial cost reductions are possible in drilling and completions, operations, and future well and field abandonment, including the potential risk and costs for environmental remediation.

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