Yibal field in Oman is a textbook case of what happens when enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods are applied to oil reservoirs. Horizontal maximum recovery contact (MRC) wells combined with water flooding result in a temporary bumps in production but later precipitous declines and oil field depletion. This from 2004 Energy Bulletin
This is an incredibly uninformed comment. The horizontal wells drilled in Yibal were drilled long before the advent of MRC wells in Saudi Arabia (the horizontal drilling in Yibal was 96 – 97 and the noted watering out was in 98 whereas the first of the MRC wells in SA weren’t drilled until 2002 and not properly implemented until 2007). It also shows an incredible ignorance about the fact that “not all rocks are created equal”. The Yibal Shuaybah reservoir is predominantly chalk, which means it, has high porosity but very low permeability. This is as far from the same reservoir as SA as can be. Some zones that are not chalk and have high permeability which, along with the well-documented faults in the field, become conduits for water complicate it. This reservoir isn’t at all like the Arab reservoirs that produce in SA where MRC wells have been extremely successful. Also part and parcel of the success in SA was the implementation of 4D seismic and proper full field modeling which wasn’t available to PDO during the Yibal years. And even in the equivalent reservoir (albeit slightly different facies) the Shuaybah MRC program in SA has been incredibly successful. This information is all readily available to anyone who wants to look for it on the SPE site. I can provide references to that literature for anyone interested. In short Yibal was an early experiment where they knew very little about the reservoir simply because Shell weren’t interested in spending a bunch of research dollars at the time. The contact in the reservoir was usually a 100 – to few hundred metres versus the MRC wells in SA which are up to 10 KM now. In comparison in SA Aramco pulled out all stops to look at the science and technology and solved the issues that occur due to permeability streaks, faults, strong water drive etc. The technology applied in either case is night and day. And I would point out there is recent SPE literature indicating they are revisiting Yibal to see if they can improve further what they have done since the Twilight in the Desert ill-informed review simply because the science has advanced since they had their problems.
The use of this new oilfield technology at Yibal was the first experiment with horizontal drilling anywhere in the Middle East. This is what Simmons had to say in his groundbreaking 2005 Twilight in the Desert; "It is now clear that the many new horizontal wells merely drained the last oil remaining to be swept at the end of Yibal's three-decades-long water injection program"
OK let’s reference a financial analyst with regards to technical reservoir engineering information. …that makes sense.
In a number of threads over the years I’ve walked through the comments that he made regarding such and such paper and demonstrated how he probably only read the abstract and with the knowledge of someone who had never worked in a technical position in the patch..i.e. he didn’t have a clue what they were saying. I had access back then to SPE and went to each and everyone of the references and invariably when you walked through the paper with a bit of knowledge it was pretty clear he didn’t get it…he saw problems and ignored the solutions they were showing worked. Somewhere on this site my comments should have been archived.
The implications today are obvious; given the lack of Saudi Arabian response to record high oil prices from 2005-2008, their new-found reliance on old dirty oil, and a homegrown refinery market for Manifa, should be clear to a discriminating peak-oil student that this precisely what is happening in SA.
Again ill-informed comment bordering on stupidity. During the record high oil prices you speak of SA was not in a position to address increasing production to meet the accelerated demand. Since the seventies their interest was in market share and hence producing more oil wasn’t in their agenda, they had done no development or facilities expansion for a couple of decades. They got caught with their pants down and the fact of the matter is if you haven’t drilled the wells and built the necessary facilities you can’t turn on the taps. This was precisely the reason they initiated the mega-projects. And the biggest ill-informed statement you make is it is all “dirty oil”. I’ve posted this on the site years ago and the truth is that the only heavy really S2 rich oil is Safaniyah and Manifa. The mega-projects without either of these fields contributed 100% of the current 12.5 MM/d spare capacity and they are all light and relatively sweet (by this I mean they are less than 2% S which is a standard around the world with the exception of southern Europe where the refineries are set up to handle less than 1% S).