Proceedings of the
Second International Energy 2030 Conference,
November 4-5, 2008, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Carbonate Reservoir Characterization – An Integrated Approach and Future Research Needs
J. Frederick Sarg
Colorado School of Mines, USA
Many carbonate reservoirs today occur in mature production environments. The remaining oil in most
mature carbonate fields is generally contained within low porosity and low permeability reservoirs, and
optimizing recovery will require new technology and work flows that focus on these hard to produce
reservoir units. The carbonate reservoirs of the Middle East region are in an emerging mature province.
They have undergone a complex depositional, diagenetic, and tectonic history. In general, these Mesozoic
and Tertiary-aged reservoirs were deposited on broad ramps, where facies tracts are aerially extensive.
They do, however, have complex depositional geometries and multi-component pore systems that require
an integrated approach to build a working geologic model appropriate for reservoir simulation (e.g., [1,2]).
Depositional facies in this region appear to exert a first order control on most reservoirs. The pore systems
can be modified by both early (e.g. marine cementation, karsting, and dolomitization), and late burial
diagenesis. Tectonic fracturing and faulting further overprint permeability and flow pathways. All of
these factors must be accounted for in any geologic model.