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Reservoir characterization, modeling, and simulation were undertaken to improve production from Womack Hill field (eastern Gulf Coast, United States). This field produces oil from Upper Jurassic Smackover carbonate shoal reservoirs. These reservoirs occur in vertically stacked, heterogeneous depositional and porosity cycles. The cycles consist of lime mudstone and wackestone at the base and ooid grainstone at the top. Porosity has been enhanced through dissolution and dolomitization. Porosity is chiefly interparticle, solution-enlarged interparticle, grain moldic, intercrystalline dolomite, and vuggy pores. Dolostone pore systems and flow units have the highest reservoir potential. Petroleum-trapping mechanisms include a fault trap (footwall uplift with closure to the south against a major west-southeast–trending normal fault) in the western area, a footwall uplift trap associated with a possible southwest-northeast–trending normal fault in the south-central area, and a salt-cored anticline with four-way dip closure in the eastern area. Potential barriers to flow are present as a result of petrophysical differences among and within the cycles, as well as the presence of normal faulting. Reservoir performance analysis and simulation indicate that the unitized western area has less than 1 MMSTB of oil remaining to be recovered, and that the eastern area has 2–3 MMSTB of oil to be recovered. A field-scale reservoir management strategy that includes the drilling of infill wells in the eastern area of the field and perforating existing wells in stratigraphically higher porosity zones in the unitized western area is recommended for sustaining production from the Womack Hill field.
Ernest A. Mancini is regional director of the Eastern Gulf Region of the Petroleum Technology Council, director of the Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies, and professor in petroleum geology in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. His research focus is on reservoir characterization and modeling, petroleum systems, and the application of stratigraphic analysis to petroleum exploration.Tom Blasingame is an associate professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in petroleum engineering. He is a distinguished member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and a member of the Society for Exploration Geophysicists and AAPG.
Rosalind Archer holds a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from Stanford University. Her research interests are in reservoir characterization, well testing, and reservoir simulation. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University.
Brian Panetta is a research associate in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. He received a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina, an M.S. degree from the University of Kentucky, and an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. His research interests are in reservoir characterization and geologic modeling.
Juan Carlos Llinás obtained his B.A degree from the National University of Colombia in 1995 and his M.S. degree in 2003 from the University of Alabama, and he is currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of Alabama. He works in geologic modeling of oil fields with siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs using well-log, core, and seismic data.
Charles D. Haynes is a businessman and educator with degrees in mining and petroleum engineering. He was an independent petroleum producer before joining the faculty at the University of Alabama. He continues his professional practice through minerals-related research, consulting, and joint ownership of an independent oil-producing company. He serves on the State Board of Licensure for Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Joe Benson is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama. His research interests lie in carbonate sedimentology and sedimentary petrology. He received a B.A. degree from the College of Wooster and an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.