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SPE 111117

Offshore Gas Field Development Optimization Study

Applied QA/QC Procedure for Models Accuracy and Decision Reliability
Full Field Compositional Simulation StudyCase History
Lutfi A. Salameh, SPE, and Faisal Al Jenaibi, SPE, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Copyright 2007, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2007 SPE/EAGE Reservoir Characterization
and Simulation Conference held in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., 2831 October 2007.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
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Box 833836, Richardson, Texas 75083-3836 U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.

This paper is discussing the main challenges that are still
encountered after constructing simulation models incase of not
introduced to a practical QA/QC procedure to ensure accurate
results for reservoir management decisions.
The study includes the main criterias which were used to
define the optimum development plan for gas production
improvement towards achieving maximum recovery.
The field was partially developed in 1989 with 10 gas
producers to supply 500 MMscf/day of gas for auto injection
into oil rim reservoir. The field is under further development
scheme to produce 1.0 Bscf/day to meet the increasing demand
of gas for auto injection into other oil reservoirs and for export.
The main difficulties encountered to develop this field are
linked to obtain representative model, in addition to other
related development aspects of drilling costly gas wells and
utilization of the produced gas for auto-gas injection or export.
Several methods (Deterministic and Stochastic) have been
introduced to distribute hydrocarbon in the geological model,
which was compared later with simulation model estimated
initial gas and condensate in-places to ensure achieving more
reliable volumes. The current and the future development
plans performances were assessed using detailed
compositional simulation model that was constructed based
recent rock and fluid characterization studies.
The newly established QA/QC procedure for models results
accuracy has been successfully applied, and the lessons learnt
were shared with other simulation teams.

The study main outlines are as follows:

1. Achieve reliable history match with field data that
showed discrepancies.
2. Apply new QA/QC for accurate modeling results and
assurance to resolve the common outstanding issues.
3. Develop representative hydraulic lift curves.
4. Develop representative equation-of-state (EOS) for fluid
5. Optimize the current and alternative development plans.
The results and conclusions of the study are as follows:
- Anomalies screened and defined accurate estimation
method for the initial gas and condensate asset volumes.
- Correction factor applied to phi-log derived data in
order to honor the core derived data.
- Developed representative equation-of-state (EOS) and
the hydraulic lift curves (HLC).
- Constructed reliable full field compositional simulation
model matching the field measured data.
- New QA/QC procedure has been established to resolve
the common outstanding issues.
- Evaluation of the current and other alternative
development options.
- Evaluated the key parameters required to define the
required timing of compression facilities.
The field is located offshore Abu Dhabi city in the Arabian
Gulf (Figure 1). This field was partially developed in August
1998 and considered one of the largest in terms of the asset
volume of the Initial gas in-place.
ADNOC E&P offshore gas team has performed the study
through an applied integrated reservoir development strategy
which is demonstrating best practices in reservoir engineering
and modeling concept to minimize associated risks and
The business drivers were evaluating of the asset value of the
gas reserves, the maximum gas potential, recoverable gas
volume, sustainable technical rate and recovery with optimum
development scheme that requires minimum expenditure

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To achieve the study objectives, a detailed compositional full

field simulation model was constructed in order to optimize
development strategical option based on a validated process
including QA/QC procedure.
The integrated development study was carried out to achieve
the main objectives for evaluating the initial gas in-place and
to optimize the current development plan in order to identify
the optimum gas production potential that gives maximum
Several development plans were optimized and reviewed. As a
result of many encountered field constraints, implementation
of the study recommendations could not be considered
particularly minimizing the number of drilling new wells.
These constraints were considered to re-optimize the
recommended development plan. Figure 2 depicts the field
structure map and the location of the field development wells.
Integrated Reservoir Study Phases
A multidisciplinary gas team that included Petrophysisct,
Geophysicist, Geologist, Drilling and Reservoir engineer
carried out this study. The gas team was supported by several
consultants to assess selected key issues, namely, fractures,
lithofacies and rock typing. Figures 3 and 4 show the models
Rock Types (Pcs) and quality match of the Log-derived and
Model-derived Saturation profile (Sw).
The study phases were carried out as follows:
Rock characterization study to construct the static
geological model for accurate estimate of the initial gas
and condensate in-place, define the fracture network,
lithofacies and rock types in the reservoirs.
Fluid characterization study to define representative
equation-of-state (EOS) for initial and dynamic fluid (gas
and condensate) properties.
Well flow performance study to develop representative
hydraulic lift curves for well potential realistic modeling.
Integrate all other field observation and monitoring data,
wells completion and production into the constructed
model to ensure reliable matching with field historical
Optimized development plan using the history matched
compositional simulation model.
Major Reservoir Development Challenges
The critical problems encountered during building the
simulation model and during the implementation of the field
development plan were as follows:

Inconsistency between the measured Log-derived and

Core-derived porosity values in the range of 10 to +50%.
Inconsistency of measured field data such as gascondensate ratio (CGR), wellhead flowing pressure and
dew point.
Well integrity and safety concern constraints the
implementation of the recommended plan and resulted
additional costly drilling.

Gas quality in upper (86% C1) and lower (89% C1) parts
of the reservoir. The variation of gas composition has an
impact on the development of the equation-of-state.
Gas utilization for auto gas injection at high WHFP.
Lack of enhanced recovery mechanisms that are not
available in the emerging technology.

Full Field Simulation Model (FFSM)

An integrated compositional simulation model was
constructed and utilized to evaluate several field development
The new FFSM comprises 57 layers with 44 x 45 areal grid
blocks. The total model number of cells is 112860. The cells
designed in regular dimension of 500 m x 500 m in the crest
and 1 Km x 1 Km in the periphery.
The scope of work to construct the FFSM was carried out in
several phases as follows:
Data gathering and evaluation
Seismic interpretation and inversion
Fluid characterization (EOS)
Geological, Sedimentological and Structural Studies
Hydraulic lift curves
Reservoir modeling and simulation
History match and quality control for assurance
Integrated Development plan optimization
It is to be noted that one of the key elements used to ensure the
FFSM quality by controlling the convergence problems of
hydrocarbon volumes calculations. The convergence problem
is considered as strong indicator of model stability and
Fluid Characterization (EOS)
Initially, several EOSs were developed with 16, 14, 11, 9 and
8 components. Following screening and evaluation, the EOS
with 11 components was selected, validated and used in the
study to evaluate the initial and the dynamic fluid properties.
However, in order to optimize the required computing time,
the 11-components EOS has been re-evaluated and modified
to develop the final 8-components EOS. Accordingly, the
computer time was substantially reduced from 5.8 hrs to 3.4
hours per run. This represents around 41% saving of the
required computer time, and additional saving in the study
The EOS was developed based on several PVT samples
collected from different wells. A total of 6 PVT samples were
collected from the Upper zones and 2 samples from the Lower
zones. The condensate-gas ration (CGR) from the Upper zones
is around 6 Stbc/MMscf, and around 2 Stbc/MMscf for the
Lower zones.
The gas composed predominantly of C1 (86% in the Upper
and 89% in the Lower), and 0.5-2% of H2S.
The dew point pressure for gas varied between 2955 to 3495
psi for Upper zones, and around 2040 for Lower zones.

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Considering the low values of dew point pressure, the gas

reservoir is under saturated which allows producing higher
recovery at low reservoir pressure due to the limited
condensate drop out.
Original Gas In-place (OGIP)
The OGIP was estimated based on detailed evaluation of
proper lateral and vertical gas distribution as shown in Figures
5 and 6.
In order to confirm the reliability of the OGIP estimation,
several methods have been applied to ensure the reliability of
the OGIP estimation. Several methods were applied;
Volumetric, deterministic and stochastic using the newly built
3-D full field simulation model (FFSM). The results of the
current method showed more consistent figures than the
traditional volumetric method that based on average
assumption of gross reservoir thickness, porosity and
saturation, without taking into consideration the actual
distribution of gas per interval.
The correlation of P/Z vs. cumulative gas production was also
used as tentative rule of thumb method. This gave an
erroneous estimation value when compared with the detailed
procedure applied in this study.
Additional key factor which has essential impact on OGIP is
the wide difference in log-derived and core-derived porosity.
Figures 7 and 8 depict this variation of 10 to +50% values.
Therefore, to overcome the porosity variation problem, a
correction factor was applied to honor the core-derived data.
Results showed that the model OGIP estimate is within 1% of
the value obtained from the volumetric method, and 21% less
than the value from P/Z method.
Pressure Measurements Inconsistency
Test data sensitivity and inconsistency was observed from
many wells as shown in the following comparative table:

Test Qg














As illustrated in the above table, rate and pressure gas

measurements was evaluated carefully to ensure data
consistency and accuracy. Using field data without screening
could be a source of error if used as a matching parameter to
tune the developed full field model.

RFT/MDT formation pressure data is one of the key matching

parameters required to verify the level of the vertical
communication across different sub zones, and between the
Upper and the Lower reservoirs where the pressure difference
is around 1000 psi. Matching the vertical pressure profile was
critical to simulate the representative level of flow
contribution initially and during the depletion phase in order to
be able to match PLT measured data.
Hydraulic Lift Curves (HLC)
Well test data collected during November 1994 till April 2002
was utilized to build representative HLC. Field data review
and analysis revealed the following observations:
The test results showed anomalous sensitivity to the gas
rate and measured BHFP & WHFP. Several discrepancies
were observed that made it difficult to derive accurate and
reliable lift curves.
Establishing correlations for pressure gradient across the
well tubing could not be possible due to the test data
measurement fluctuation. A pressure gradient of 0.110.158 psi/ft was obtained from the test measurements.
The WHFP measurements showed a wide range of
possible error when measuring the WHFP at different gas
rates. Figure 11 illustrates the measurement inconsistency
that could be attributed to field-testing methods.
As a result of surface facilities limitations and flaring
constraints, production tests for longer duration with
stabilized gas rate were not possible. Therefore, anomalies
were observed in the field measurements.
However, despite the above limitations, all available test data
were utilized after screening the anomalous values. The study
concludes the following:
For more accurate test results, uncertainties associated to
the test equipment and procedures to be improved.
Extensive monitoring campaign for additional well testing
is required to ensure accurate and reliable measurements,
and more important, to screen the current erroneous data.
Quality match was achieved between the field measured
data and those corresponding data obtained from the
simulation study.
Accuracy of the results is shown as follows:

Test Rate



Match (Error %)





-53 psi (1.2% )

+92 psi (2.1% )
+49 psi (1.3%)
-87 psi (2.1 %)
+4 psi (0.1% )
+18 psi (0.5 %)
-133 psi (3.3% )
+19 psi (0.4 % )

Model History Match

Field historical data until November 2002 was incorporated in
this study in order to ensure results accuracy and reliability.

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All available measured data was used as matching parameters.

Summary of these data is:
- Log and Core derived data
- Measured PVT samples
- Field History performance
- Well-per-Well History performance; Qg, Qc, Qw
- Well-per-Well Productivity Index
- Measured pressure data (BHCIP, BHFP and WHFP)
- Measured RFT/MDT
- Measured PLT data
- Faults and Fracture sealing level and Impact of the aquifer
Model Quality Control & Quality Assurance (QA/QC)
The following QA/QC procedure has been applied in order to
ensure that the full field development plan is reliable,
representative and optimized according to the prevailing
technical standards. Since the feasibility and the accuracy of
the selected development plan is recommended based on the
relevant simulation model, it is necessary to obtain high
confidence in the accuracy of used simulation model. The Key
QA/QC parameters related to the development plan are as

Well-per-Well vertical gas saturation match for all wells

as typically depicted in Figure 4.
Layer-per-Layer lateral gas distribution match for all
models layers by comparing the saturation maps derived
from the geological and the simulation models.
MDT per formation matched as illustrated in Figures 9
and 10.
Faulting system sealing level match based on the results
obtained from the interference tests across these faults,
and the natural aquifers driving force. Several sensitivity
runs were made to evaluate the impact of the aquifer on
the reservoir performance and the degree of sealing of the
faulting system. Figure 12 illustrates the impact of active
and non active aquifer on the WCT evolution. The study
results revealed that the aquifer is not active with limited
driving force. Accordingly, the simulation model was
built with non sealed faults based on the interference field
test data measured across the faults.
Well-per-Well history match including gas and
condensate rates, water cut production (WCT), gascondensate ratio (GOR), wellhead flowing pressure
(WHFP), well Bottomhole flowing pressure (BHFP) and
the well bottom hole closed in pressure (BHCIP). Figures
13 and 14 illustrate the match for typical wells.
Well-per-Well productivity index to be matched to avoid
non realistic prediction performance of rate and plateau.
Figure 15 depicts the quality match of typical wells.
Well-per-Well production logging tests (PLTs) to be
matched to ensure representative contribution of each sub
zone. Figure 16 depicts the productivityy index of
selected wells
Prediction constraints of field and wells levels should be
feasible, practical and economical to ensure accurate
production potential and more important the expected
plateau. The constraints should address the maximum and

the minimum possible production rates according to well

integrity of the old and new wells.
It is worth to mention that. The defined QA/QC procedure has
boosted the model quality and substantially reduced the study
duration of the history match and the prediction phases.
Accordingly, ADNOC E&P is working to standardize the
QA/QC procedure in order to be as a guideline for future
BHCIP and BHFP Matching
Considering all available data, including well gas rate,
productivity and pressure data, the model accuracy was
assured by matching all data relevant to BHCIP, BHFP and
WHFP measurements:
Quality BHFP history match for the tested wells was achieved
after screening the anomalous measurements. The following
table shows the level of history match of typical wells:







-44 psi
( 0.7% )
+ 7 psi
(0.1 %)
-17 psi
( 0.3 % )
+30 psi
( 0.4 % )



















Simulation Study Results

The simulation study was completed in year 2003. Summary
of results are as follows:
Integrated full field compositional simulation model was
constructed; quality checked and matched the static and
dynamic field data.
Accurately estimate of the initial gas and condensate asset
volumes that evaluated through several approaches.
Lateral and vertical distribution of the hydrocarbon fluids
are defined for efficient future drilling.
Computer time has been substantially reduced by 40% by
optimizing the no. of components of the EOSs.
Reservoir gas productivity is high and can supply
sustainable gas rate for auto gas injection, compressed gas
injection and for export. The investigated development
options using the new model are as follows:
A. Current development plan has been evaluated. The
reservoir performance including target gas rate and
pressure for auto gas injection development scheme is
defined and depicted in Figure 17.
B. Auto gas injection into the rich gas reservoir will be
stopped after few years as a result of WHFP decline
below the requirement level of the corresponding gas
injectors WHIP.
C. Additional gas will be available for export after
ending the current auto gas injection into the rich gas
D. Compressed gas injection into the oil reservoir will
be required after 15 years. The WHFP is the key

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parameter used to define the required timing of

compression facilities. Figure 18 shows the impact of
the BHFP criteria on the reservoir performance and
the timing of installing the required gas injection
compression facilities.
E. The optimum development plan has been evaluated
based on auto gas injection followed by compressed
gas injection and export. Figures 19 and 20 show the
field production performance of gas, condensate and
water profiles.
Summary and Conclusions
The following results and conclusions are made:
1. Integrated full filed compositional simulation model was
constructed and validated for quality assurance. This
model represents the most reliable management tool to
evaluate the current and future field development plans.
2. Several methods used to estimate the initial gas and
condensate in-place in the static model. However, it is
concluded that the most reliable estimate is the values
obtained from the FFSM.
3. Additional uncertainty that substantially affect the
accuracy of calculations was the wide variation of
porosity derived from logs and cores. Therefore, a
correction factor was applied to log derived porosity data
in order to honor the core derived data.
4. Due to the low dew point and low GCR of the under
saturated gas reservoir, higher recovery of more than 60%
could be achieved after 30 years at low reservoir pressure.
5. Emerging technology to provide efficient enhancement
method found to be not practical and very costly.
6. Well integrity problem caused major constraints to
production rate. Many wells of high productivity (120
MMscf/day) failed to operate at this rate due to safety
reasons (loss by 50%).
7. Monopore 7" completion is considered for the new wells
in order to boost gas production. Results showed 3 new
wells can produce more than 100 MMscf/day each.
8. Gas utilization:
- High pressure gas above 3200 psia for auto-gas
injection in the overlaying oil reservoirs and/or the
rich gas reservoir can be sustained for few years.
After that, compressed gas injection will be needed to
sustain gas injection rate for additional 20 years.
- Low pressure gas above 1200 psia for exported for
the LNG plant.
- Low pressure gas above 500 psia can be boosted to
be either utilized for compressed gas injection and/or
for export
- Workover of gas producers is not efficient due to the
high cost and limited chances of successful results.
- Unnecessary additional wells are required to
compensate for gas production loss due to the
problems encountered from the persistent well
integrity problems.
- Enhancement gas recovery methods are not available in
the emerging technology in order to extend the
production plateau period and to maximize the ultimate
gas and condensate recovery.

The authors wish to thank the management of Abu Dhabi
National Oil Co. (ADNOC) for permission to present and
publish this paper.
OGIP, Original gas in-place
QA/QC, Quality Assurance and Quality control
FFSM, Full Field Simulation Model
EOS, Equation-of-state
HLC, Hydraulic lift curves
gas rate
Condensate rate
Water rate
Capillary pressure
Water Saturation
Gas-Condensate ratio
BHCIP, Bottomhole close in pressure
BHFP, Bottomhle flowing pressure
WHFP, Wellhead flowing pressure
Repeat Formation Tester
MDT, Modular Formation Dynamics Tester
Production logging test
WCT, Water cut
CAPEX, Capital Expenditure
OPEX, Operating Expenditure
1. Umm Shiaf Field Kuff Formation, Core Static Rock Type
Study. ADNOC, E&P, Offshore Gas Team Report,
Author: Arnaud Meyer (TotalFinalElf), July 2002.

Umm Shiaf Field Khuff formation, Structural Geology

Study. ADNOC, E&P, Offshore Gas Team Report,
Author: David Peackok (Robertson Research International
Ltd), August 2002.


Umm Shaif field Kuff gas reservoir, Integrated Full Field

Development study. ADNOC, E&P, Offshore Gas Team
Report, May 2003.


Lutfi A. Salameh, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.

(ADNOC), UAE: Improved Oil Recovery by New
Horizontalization Strategy in Giant Carbonate Reservoir,
paper SPE 68075 presented at the SPE 12th Middle East
Oil Show & Conference, Bahrain, 1720 March 2001.


Evaluation of Field and well performance under Auto and

Compressed gas injection study. ADNOC, E&P, Offshore
Gas Team Report March 2004.


Mubarraz Arab Rich Gas Field - Integrated full field

Development study. ADNOC, E&P, Offshore Gas Team
Report August 2004.


Lutfi A. Salameh & Saoud Al-Mehairbi (ADNOC), and

Yutaka Yamada & Ryoji Uchiyama (ADOC): Successful
Development of Offshore Sour Oil Fields with Applied
Sour/Sweet Gas Injection in Carbonate Reservoirs, paper
presented in 3rd International Conference & Exhibition,
SOGAT 2007, Abu Dhabi May 2007.

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