Abstract

Facies architecture and structure are the primary controls on reservoir geometry, fluid-flow pathways, and distribution of remaining oil in fluvial and shoreface reservoirs of Miocene age in the 46.7 km 2 Mioceno Norte area in northern Lake Maracaibo. This mature field is undergoing depletion and nearing the final stages of primary recovery. Although the area has produced oil since the 1940s, appreciable volumes of oil (commonly 400 to 1200X10 3 STB (stock tank barrels)/20-acre drainage area) remain in multiple, poorly contacted reservoir sandstones at the current 984 ft (300 m) well spacing. Detailed lithofacies maps document the control of sandstone architecture on hydrocarbon distribution and demonstrate that the current well spacing on a grid pattern is too large to recover efficiently the remaining oil. Moreover, the facies architecture influences water-cut patterns and the irregular advancement of inferred oil-water contacts on the western margin of the field. A wide variety of infill wells, recompletions, redrilled wells, horizontal wells, and water-injection wells is proposed. Approximately 80X10 6 STB of remaining oil will be produced by maintaining the current 984 ft (300 m) well spacing. However, an additional 46.5X10 6 STB can be produced with geologically targeted infill wells, recompletions and horizontal wells. In addition, new water-injection wells can appreciably increase oil recovery by enhancing sweep efficiency and providing pressure support.

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