Advances in carbonate exploration and reservoir analysis
J. Garland, J. Neilson, S. E. Laubach, K. J. Whidden, 2012. "Advances in carbonate exploration and reservoir analysis", Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis, J. Garland, J. E. Neilson, S. E. Laubach, K. J. Whidden
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The development of innovative techniques and concepts, and the emergence of new plays in carbonate rocks are creating a resurgence of oil and gas discoveries worldwide. The maturity of a basin and the application of exploration concepts have a fundamental influence on exploration strategies. Exploration success often occurs in underexplored basins by applying existing established geological concepts. This approach is commonly undertaken when new basins ‘open up’ owing to previous political upheavals. The strategy of using new techniques in a proven mature area is particularly appropriate when dealing with unconventional resources (heavy oil, bitumen, stranded gas), while the application of new play concepts (such as lacustrine carbonates) to new areas (i.e. ultra-deep South Atlantic basins) epitomizes frontier exploration.
Many low-matrix-porosity hydrocarbon reservoirs are productive because permeability is controlled by fractures and faults. Understanding basic fracture properties is critical in reducing geological risk and therefore reducing well costs and increasing well recovery. The advent of resource plays in carbonate rocks, and the long-standing recognition of naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs means that new fracture and fault analysis and prediction techniques and concepts are essential.
A key area of progress has been integration of stratigraphic, structural, geomechanical and diagenetic analysis to populate reservoir models accurately. Dramatic increases in computing and digital imaging capabilities are being harnessed to improve spatial analysis and spatial statistics in reservoirs and ultimately improve 3D geocellular models.
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Carbonate reservoirs contain an increasingly important percentage of the world's hydrocarbon reserves. This volume presents key recent advances in carbonate exploration and reservoir analysis. As well as a comprehensive overview of the trends in carbonate over the years, the volume focuses on four key areas:
emerging plays and techniques – with special reference to lacustrine plays in syn-rift basins and development of super-giant heavy oil plays
improved reservoir characterization – with examples from the Middle East and Europe and case studies of how outcrop analogues can provide key data for input to geological models
impact of fractures and faults in carbonates –contributors highlight the need for integrated structural and diagenetic approaches in order to understand how fractures evolve as fluid-flow conduits
advances in geomodelling of carbonate reservoirs –several papers discuss the application of new and innovative geomodelling and geostatistical techniques to carbonate reservoirs.