Technical Paper: Fluid-Front Tracking in a Mature Jurassic Carbonate Reservoir Using Innovative Pulsed Neutron Solutions for the First Time Offshore Abu Dhabi

Society: OTC
Paper Number: 27590
Presentation Date: 2017
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Managing mature fields effectively and efficiently requires monitoring changes in formation fluid saturations as well as production from individual wells. Reservoir saturation monitoring is usually performed using slim pulsed neutron logging (PNL) tools because they can be deployed through tubing and operate in different modes, thus providing a wealth of information. However, several environmental factors can complicate the analysis, including complex completions and unknown or variable borehole fluids (gas in particular), which affect the PNL raw measurements and computed outputs. Factors related to the nature of the reservoir, such as complex lithology and multiple fluid phases, further complicate the analysis, making accurate fluid saturation evaluation and reservoir fluid-front mapping very challenging.

An innovative pulsed neutron technology, recently introduced in the UAE, can help in reducing the evaluation uncertainty. The new device is fitted with multiple detectors and is used with newly developed algorithms to provide self-compensated formation sigma and hydrogen index (HI) measurements, overcoming many of the limitations of previous devices in complex environments. Additionally, the new tool provides a new formation property sensitive to gas-filled porosity, called the fast neutron cross section (FNXS), which, in adequate conditions, can be used to complement the analysis or highlight gas in the absence of openhole logs.

The new PNL tool was run for the first time in an offshore UAE mature field targeting Jurassic formations. The production in the field started in the 1960s, followed in the 1970s by down-flank injection of water with much lower salinity than the connate water, and in the 1990s by crestal gas injection. The Jurassic reservoir mineralogy is a complex mixture of calcite, dolomite, and anhydrite. Completions consist of multiple combinations of tubing, casing, and hole sizes along with packers and other hardware components; often the borehole is filled with gas across the zones of interest, which has proven an obstacle to PNL interpretation. The new PNL device was tested in several wells in which it operated in inelastic gas, sigma, and HI (GSH) mode and carbon/oxygen (C/O) mode. Integration of all the recorded information made possible to reliably track the three-phase fluid saturation changes even in the gas-filled wellbores with complex completions. An additional benefit with the new tool was that because the C/O data were recorded at a speed twice as fast as that of the previous-generation PNL tool, it was possible to acquire the logs in the limited allocated time to help resolve the oil saturation in reservoir zones with variable salinity. The saturation analysis was compared to production logs and well production data where available.

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