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Abstract

The Buzzard oil field in the Outer Moray Firth, Central North Sea was discovered in 2001 and rapidly appraised during 2001–2002. Pre-production development drilling began in 2005 and the field was brought on stream in January 2007 by operator Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd. The Buzzard reservoir consists of Upper Jurassic deep marine turbidites within the Kimmeridge Clay Formation. Sands were derived from the shelf to the west and the resulting mass flow deposits were contained within a fault-bounded basin, whose margins were prone to mass wastage. The deposits pinchout to the west and thicken eastwards into the basin and hydrocarbon source kitchen. Following appraisal drilling, the high net-to-gross reservoir was interpreted as well connected. Interbedded shale layers were thought unlikely to control flow through the reservoir. However, a biostratigraphic review indicated that a consistent biostratigraphic event, indicative of reworking, could be identified field-wide. This shale layer is interpreted as a large-scale, muddy slump, extensive enough to form a significant vertical barrier to flow. Subsequent production data, modelling and chemostratigraphy studies suggest greater subdivision and vertical baffling within the main reservoir. Interpretation of these data has led to a move away from early models of Buzzard as a tank-like reservoir to a model dominated by compensationally stacked lobes, where hydraulic flow is influenced by sand body geometry and extensive shales. A comprehensive understanding of the Buzzard Field has only been possible through full integration of core, log and dynamic data, benefiting from a high density of well control, an extensive data acquisition programme and early reservoir monitoring. Ongoing reservoir management, involving continuous update of both the geological and dynamic models in response to new data, has enabled an evolving understanding of the Buzzard reservoirs, and placed the operator in an excellent position to proactively address future development challenges.

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