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Determination of the depositional architecture of carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs is a necessary prerequisite for pre- and syn-development modelling and simulation. Such reservoirs are typically too thin for internal bedding geometries to be confidently determined from seismic and wireline log evidence, and this aim is best achieved by integrated palaeontological and sedimentological studies. Of these, micropalaeontological analysis and biofacies interpretation of closely spaced core samples can reveal cryptic, high-frequency depositional cycles and three-dimensional palaeoenvironmental information.

In Saudi Arabia, the Shu’aiba Formation is the main reservoir in the Shaybah field, and has been subdivided into a number of biofacies (ShBf-1 to...

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