SPE 56558

Geological and Production Problems Solved by Recognizing the Strike Slip
Component on Reverse Faults, Block I, Lake Maracaibo
J-Y. Chatellier, R. de Sifontes, SPE, and O. Mijares, PDVSA Intevep, and P. Muñoz, SPE, PDVSA E&P

Copyright 1999, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.
to the Icotea Fault. Based on that structural model and on the
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 1999 SPE Annual Technical Conference and production behavior of the wells, six water injectors have been
Exhibition held in Houston, Texas, 3–6 October 1999.
drilled through time in a down-dip position in the western part
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of of the field (Fig.1).
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Despite the injection of water, the pressure has kept
Abstract decreasing in nearly all of the producing wells indicating the
inadequacy of the official structural model. Locally some of
Despite years of oil production and numerous geological and the correlations between wells and the interpretation of the
geophysical studies, no structural and sedimentological model sedimentary environments had to be revised. There is still
succeeded to adequately describe the reservoir architecture or large uncertainty and misunderstanding with respect to the
match the production behaviour in Block VLA-31. Around a sealing or non-sealing nature of the known faults in order to
newly acquired 3-D seismic a multidisciplinary team has have a history match.
integrated all of the available information and came up with a
radically different geological model that is coherent with the
production history. The newly interpreted faults are reverse New effort of integration
but no repetition of section is ever observed. We identified and
visualized these faults through various means and discovered An integrated team was given the task to better the geological
the strike slip component responsible for the previous mis- model in order to understand the sand body architecture and
interpretation of the faut system. propose a new development plan for the block. This
integration work involved geophysics, geology, petrophysics,
geostatistics and reservoir engineering.
Whereas a newly acquired 3-D seismic survey was being
Original model interpreted, sedimentologists were attempting to resolve the
correlation problems with the help of the reservoir engineers.
The block VLA-31 is located within Lake Maracaibo to the Other tools and disciplines have been used in this integration;
west of the Icotea fault (Fig.1); it is part of the better known these include drilling information, graphical visualization
Block I. It is producing from the Eocene Misoa C Sands that (Bischke, 1994, Sanchez et al., 1997) and geostatistics
are considered to be deltaic in nature by most authors (van (Porjesz et al., 1997).
Veen, 1969, and many others). The sediments for the studied
block were supposed to be derived from the South. The source Work procedure
of Misoa sediments has been controversial: van Andel
proposed a source from the NorthEast (1956), van Veen from The first hurdle in the integration was that whereas R. Hyde
the SouthWest (1969) whereas Audemard (1991) and Lugo (Fig.2) was proposing the existence of three very large reverse
(1991) proposed some source from the North. faults, no repetition was seen in any of the wells, even when
The prevailing and official structural interpretation can be focussing around the depth estimate given by the seismic. The
summarized as a series of normal faults roughly perpendicular

1997). DE SIFONTES. The agreement was very good except for has validated the existence of the reverse faults proposed by four TDs that were then discarded as they were not related to the geophysicist. For the sedimentological study we have characterized every sandstone package according to its apparent grain size trend (derived mostly from the gamma-ray pattern).6). An MBPA analysis was then undertaken (Sanchez et al. in all calculating the residual between the fault plane and the TDs cases we got similar views of the sand body distribution.5). and was the input for hypothetical intersection with the various wells drilled (Fig. 1997). The existence of groups with similar linear limits. occurrence of abnormal termination of wells. . 1999) overall directions of the channels. O. This one kilometer displacement has been validated by our paleogeographical reconstruction and by geostatistical study Each of the three groups of points thought to correspond to the (Porjesz et al. Using this storm event as a datum to correlate the sands above we could see a series of Catastrophic geological events such as large storm deposits coarsening marine bars dissected by fining upward channel can be very useful and reliable markers for correlation sands. The geological model for the field has dramatically changed The study of wireline logging problems also confirmed the if we consider that all of the major faults are nearly location of the proposed faults. sedimentary environments. We could however estimate the studies (Link et al. MUÑOZ SPE 56558 existence of major reverse faults is in line with some recent line up too well on our maps.3). A new development plan has Sedimentology been proposed as new blocks and new opportunities have been discovered. very well defined in wells did not purposes. marine bar and marine shale facies was The fault planes thus created have been used to find discretised in every well. generated statistically (but honoring all of the data from the wells) gives credit to a lateral senestral displacement of one We calculated the position of the fault in the various wells but kilometer along one of the reverse fault (Porjesz et al. MIJARES AND P.8). We thus tried to A displacement of one kilometer along the fault gives a visualize these TDs (total depths) and found that most of these perfect alignment of the northern limit of the wells that do not abnormal TDs line up on three planes (Fig. foot by foot.7) and it shows why the water cuts are so low in the eastern side of the Field (Fig. conclusion being that these are the three reverse fault planes seen on seismic. These channel sands. 1996 and Leon et al. the geographical It appeared that many of the wells had not reached their distribution of these wells corresponds to two well-defined proposed total depth for mechanical reason.. We have thus Conclusions distinguished fining up and coarsening up sequences as well as some particular patterns. R. These two groups are offset near vertical faults is the prime suspect for such common by one of the large reverse fault proposed by the geophysicist.4) the generation of variograms.2 J-Y CHATELLIER. Subsequently many geostatistical realizations were performed first without any of A quality control of the proposed fault planes was made by the newly proposed reverse faults and then with them. wells (Fig. difficulty and often impossibility to go down or to come back These newly proposed faults give sense to the pressure data up the open hole with the wireline logging tool: the hole is and to the absence of support from the existing water injection weaker at the fault location and is prone to collapse. the results of which indicated that there were thickness and dip Implications for the field development anomalies where repeated sections were expected. In order to go on with the integration and accept or refuse the hypothesis of reverse faults we tried to identify the existence The overall solution to the problem came from the pattern of faults through various means including the use of secondary formed by the wells where the storm deposits were missing. This used in the gridding. For the statistical study the vertical reverse faults has been mapped using least square gridding. information and graphical visualization.. The logical show the storm deposit. 1997). This thin blocky sand that we interpreted as a storm deposit However there are a few tools and types of data that can be has been of tremendous help in our correlation exercise and it and have been of some help was used as datum (Fig. These problems relate to the perpendicular to the previous set of interpreted faults (Fig. we were still unable to see any repeated sections. One of these was a thin blocky We learned from our study of Block VLA-31 that there might sandstone well isolated within marine shales and nearly be some problem identifying repeat sections when faults have always present below a well developed sandstone sequence a strike slip component especially in rapidly changing attributed to the C4 Sands.. The wells devoid of this storm deposit are all located in the southern part of the VLA-31 block. succession of channel. A closer look at the sand distribution any of the faults studied.

In any future work we Mirador y Misoa del Eoceno Inferior y Medio en la Cuenca del Lago de Maracaibo. Ph. Texas. 1848. Parra. References 1. and Brink. IV Congreso Geologico Venezolano. and Muñoz P. F.H. of potential faults and fault planes and helps validate any In:Compania Shell de Venezuela. to distinguish between tectonic or sedimentary complexity and miscorrelations. Van Andel.. Link.: Interpreting Sedimentary Growth Structures from Well Log and Seismic Data (With Examples).: 3-D seismic examples from Central Lake Maracaibo.: Ambientes sedimentarios de las formaciones the context of the new structural model. J-Y. University of Texas. T.R. Venezolana de Geologo. F. methodology and examples from Venezuelan oil fields. p. Memoria. Sanchez. Houston. AAPG Studies in Geology No.D. (1996) p.. Humberto Serrano and Ramon Gomez for their technical support. C. E.H. (Noviembre 1997). p. some of which may be related to non. 1073-1104.SPE 56558 GEOLOGICAL AND PRODUCTION PROBLEMS SOLVED BY RECOGNIZING THE STRIKE SLIP COMPONENT ON REVERSE FAULTS. Taylor.G. Stratigraphic-Paleogeographic hypothesis (old or newly proposed). San Antonio AAPG annual Convention (1999) abstract only 5..: Tectonics of Western Venezuela.. Atlas of Western Venezuela.and Muñoz. Soc. We would also like to thank PDVSA E&P and PDVSA Intevep for allowing this work to be published.873-892 3. in P. Alberto Hevia and Raoul Sanchez for the geological model. Sifontes R.42 and SEG Geophysical Developments Series No. AAPG Bulletin. Tulsa. Rice University. Venezuela. (1956) Map. Chatellier. de Sifontes. Venezolana de Geologo. intend to integrate even more this type of information to refine Caracas. J. M. Lugo.6 (June 1994). Chatellier. R. N. Bischke.: Multiple Bischke Plots Analysis. Leon.: Geostatistical methods to validate and choose between sedimentological and structural interpretations in VLA-31 of Block 1. V. eds. R.J. Camposano. Porjesz. R. South Lake Maracaibo Basin. Ph.257-264 Three dimensional visualization allows a quick identification 8.69-82 4.and undetected in wells. Maraven's Block I Field. Sanchez. N.K. Venezuela. Muñoz P. R.: Extensional and compressional structural influence upon the stratigraphic framework of Eocene and Oligocene sequences. P.: Cretaceous to Neogene Tectonic Control on Sedimentation: Maracaibo Basin. (1991) 245 2.L.. 1969. The reservoir engineering data started to make sense within 9.. Austin. No.D. (Noviembre 1997).. J-Y. . Bueno. thesis. Muñoz. further our geological model. Weimer and T.. Venezuela... AAPG/SEG.181-190. R. Tomo II. Lake Maracaibo. p. Texas. R. G. Moya. thesis.J.. logging problems (up or down) can relate to presence of faults.: Petrography and sources of Eocene sediments.78. LAKE MARACAIBO 3 A Bischke Plot analysis may reveal anomalies previously 7. Davis.5. Soc. Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the following people for their important contribution to the realization of this work: Richard Hyde for the seismic interpretation. p.M. Memorias del Primero Congreso Latinoamericano de Sedimentologia. (1991) 234p. 6. Memorias del Primero Congreso Latinoamericano de Drilling problems can be used to identify fault locations and Sedimentologia. Van Veen. BLOCK 1. P. Tomo II. a powerful method interpreted faults. N• . Tomo II. C. Audemard.

MIJARES AND P. R.1 VLA-31 block: development wells and old structural Fig.2 New structural interpretation for Block VLA-31: interpretation A West-East cross-section showing the newly proposed reverse faults . O. DE SIFONTES.4 J-Y CHATELLIER. MUÑOZ SPE 56558 Fig.

3 Faults visualized in a 3-D statistical program using the abnormally shallow bottom holes . BLOCK 1.SPE 56558 GEOLOGICAL AND PRODUCTION PROBLEMS SOLVED BY RECOGNIZING THE STRIKE SLIP COMPONENT ON REVERSE FAULTS. LAKE MARACAIBO 5 Fault 1 Z Y X Fault 2 Z Y X Two options To validate Z Fault 3 Y X Fig.

3 9056.3 FAULT 1 Fig. MIJARES AND P. MUÑOZ SPE 56558 FAULT 3 2.6 J-Y CHATELLIER.9 -10.1 24. O.7 7.1 10496. R.7 6327 FAULT 2 4.4 Fault planes created with Least Square algorithms .1 5439 -7.4 6413.9 10499. DE SIFONTES.

LAKE MARACAIBO 7 Fig.SPE 56558 GEOLOGICAL AND PRODUCTION PROBLEMS SOLVED BY RECOGNIZING THE STRIKE SLIP COMPONENT ON REVERSE FAULTS.5 Distribution and spacing of the various environments in Block VLA-31 Fig.6 Schematic view of the area of Block VLA-31 . BLOCK 1.

MIJARES AND P.8 J-Y CHATELLIER.8 Map of water cut showing the influence of the newly interpreted faults Pressures PSI 4000 3800 3600 3400 3200 3000 2800 2600 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 Injection wells Post-injection pressure map Fig. MUÑOZ SPE 56558 Pressures PSI 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 Pre-injection pressure map Fig. DE SIFONTES. O. R.7 Pressure maps before and after injection scheme .