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Waveland field in Hancock County, Mississippi, produces gas and condensate from the Lower Cretaceous Mooringsport Formation at approximately 13,400 ft. Total gas reserves have been estimated at 256 bcf. The reservoir is a fractured lime packstone, containing milliolid and orbitolinid foraminifers, mollusk fragments, and echinoderms. Core plug permeability is low, commonly below 1 md, yet productive wells flow at rates of as much as 8,000 MCFGD. Thus, fracture permeability is an important reservoir property. Short-term flow tests can be misleading, as productive wells may initially produce an uneconomically high water cut for several days.
The trap is a south-southwest-plunging anticline with no apparent structural closure to the north. A map of averaged, thickness-weighted porosity values for productive stratigraphic intervals indicates that porosity does not decrease across the northern limit of production. In order to compare the productivity potential of zones with varying porosity and water saturation, Buckles Numbers (product of porosity and water saturation) were mapped for zones within the productive stratigraphic interval. Averaged, thickness-weighted Buckles Numbers indicate that productivity potential does not decline across the northern limit of the field. Thus, it is concluded that the northern (updip) extent of effective fracture permeability controls the northern limit of production at Waveland field.
High initial water cut indicates that water is in the fractures and gas and water are in the matrix. The presence of water in fractures adjacent to rock with much narrower effective pore-throat radii is a normally unstable situation, as capillary pressure would be expected to result in the matrix imbibing water and releasing gas to the fractures. It is proposed that fracturing occurred after hydrocarbon migration and that there is little or no fluid exchange between fractures and matrix prior to wellbore drawdown.
Waveland is an example of a field where limits of productivity are controlled by permeability rather than by porosity, hydrocarbon saturation, or trap geometry. Buckles Numbers maps are a useful tool for describing productivity potential of similar fields.
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