Application of Advanced Reservoir Characterization, Simulation, and Production Optimization Strategies to Maximize Recovery in Slope and Basin Clastic Reservoirs, West Texas (Delaware Basin)

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The objective of this Class III project is to demonstrate that detailed reservoir characterization of clastic reservoirs in basinal sandstones of the Delaware Mountain Group in the Delaware Basin of West Texas and New Mexico is a cost-effective way to recover more of the original oil in place by strategic infill-well placement and geologically based field development. Reservoirs in the Delaware Mountain Group have low producibility (average recovery <14 percent of the original oil in place) because of a high degree of vertical and lateral heterogeneity caused by depositional processes and post-depositional diagenetic modification. Detailed correlations of the Ramsey sandstone reservoirs in Geraldine Ford field suggest that lateral sandstone continuity is less than interpreted by previous studies. The degree of lateral heterogeneity in the reservoir sandstones suggests that they were deposited by eolian-derived turbidites. According to the eolian-derived turbidite model, sand dunes migrated across the exposed shelf to the shelf break during sea-level lowstands and provided well-sorted sand for turbidity currents or grain flows into the deep basin. Cyclic changes in sea level were an important cause of vertical heterogeneity in the reservoir interval at Geraldine Ford field. Ramsey sandstones were deposited during periods of relative sea-level fall in high-order cycles. Laterally continuous organic-rich siltstones, which were deposited in periods of relative sea-level rise during the high-order cycles, create vertical flow barriers within the reservoir. The sealing facies above the Ramsey sandstone is interpreted to be a particularly effective trap because it was deposited at a time of sea-level rise at three scales of cyclicity.


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