1887
Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1354-0793
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Abstract

Integrity of fault and top seal is a key factor that affects hydrocarbon fluid phase distribution in the subsurface. Mapping fluid property distribution can therefore provide important tools towards assessing seal integrity and trapping mechanisms – two of the most critical elements in petroleum systems analysis towards optimzing exploration and development strategies. This is best achieved by proper fluid characterization that integrates fluid geochemistry and pressure–volume–temperature (PVT) data to identify equilibrated and disequilibrated fluid gradients. Fields from Paleozoic and Mesozoic basins in the Arabian Peninsula at different stages of delineation, appraisal, development and management are discussed as examples to demonstrate the role of fluid characterization in aiding the evaluation of top, lateral and fault seal integrity, and in providing insights into the sealing and buffering effects of reservoir heterogeneity on trapping mechanism, fluid distribution and flow capacity. Examples discussed include (1) reservoir heterogeneity controlling fluid distribution and trapping mechanisms in two neighbouring gas fields, (2) geochemical evidence for a lateral seal separating gas condensate region from oil discovered during field development, (3) solid reservoir bitumen atop a giant gas field, (4) selective gas leakage through anhydrite seal, and (5) geochemical evidence for fault-controlled reservoir compartmentalization rather than a hydrodynamically tilted fluid contact in a field at an appraisal stage where PVT data are limited or inconclusive. Put in structural context, seal-related interpretations of the fluid data are aligned with observations from seismic and geological data on the existence of faults with favourable orientations or facies changes.

This article is part of the Fault and top seals 2022 collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/topic/collections/fault-and-top-seals-2022

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2024-07-14
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