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Abstract

A novel 4D methodology by targeting softening responses, a decrease in impedance over time, is described from the Forties Field. It is demonstrated that these anomalies identified areas where oil had re-saturated previously swept rock. When first observed in some of the older vintages of 4D data, softening responses were dismissed as side lobes of underlying water-swept reservoirs. With improved 4D data quality, softening responses were seen to be clearly responding to an acoustic softening effect isolated in the reservoir. Pressure measurements ruled out hypotheses of gas exsolution or geomechanically induced dilatation of the overlying shale.

At the time of writing 22 re-saturation targets had been drilled at Forties with an average water saturation (Sw) of 28%, close to virgin conditions. These results indicated that a previously swept sand can be re-saturated to near initial oil conditions.

The driving mechanism behind the re-saturation is understood to be related to changes in both production offtake and water injection. The resulting complex hydrodynamic interactions appeared to be moving banks of oil around the field. From 2011 to year-end of 2015 re-saturation targets produced 14.6 MMBO and were a key target type at the Forties Field.

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