Technical Paper: The Missing Link—Identification of Reservoir Compartmentalization Through Downhole Fluid Analysis

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 94709
Presentation Date: 2005
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Reservoir compartmentalization is a major cause of production underperformance in the oilfield. A well drilled into a compartmentalized reservoir will see only part of the hydrocarbon in place over the production time scale. The obstruction to free flow can be sealing faults, fault baffles, pinching out layers, sand lenses or low permeability areas. Although it is recognized that a comprehensive approach to compartmentalization must make combined use of all available rock and fluid data, the case studies in this paper show Downhole Fluid Analysis (DFA) to be one of the most effective techniques in recognizing compartmentalization via fluid signature comparisons and fluid density inversions. Corroboration with geological, petrophysical, reservoir engineering and production data confirms the strength of the DFA technique.

Fluid compositional variations must be considered in order to acquire fluid samples representative of the reservoir at large and to devise optimal production strategies. In addition, fluid compositional variations can be utilized as a tool to identify compartmentalization because different compartments are likely to be filled with different fluids. The limitation on use of such techniques in the past has been the need to rationalize the use of wireline sampling to collect and analyze only the necessary samples. In this paper, DFA is shown to be the "missing link". It provides the information necessary to optimize the sampling process and to decide in real time on where sampling is needed without necessarily having to bring all samples to surface.

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