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29 January, 2020 Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

3rd Edition: Carbonate Reservoirs of the Middle East

28-29 January 2020
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sponsored By:

The 2020 AAPG Carbonate Reservoirs of the Middle East workshop is the third event of this series, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, from 28th to 29th January. It will give the opportunity for operators, service companies and researchers to discuss common challenges related to carbonate reservoirs, and their solution through the application of innovative technologies. Although, the topics will clearly encourage attendance from specialists based in the Middle East region, we also expect a global audience that includes promotors and practitioners of carbonate analysis. This is a reflection of its increasing role in the various stages of exploration and development: from exploration drilling to well performance in field development.

Carbonate reservoirs have been important contributors to world oil and gas production for more than four decades (45 % of oil and 30 % of gas reserves, while in the Middle East hosting 80% and 90%, respectively). Carbonate rocks are found in a wide variety of depositional settings. These settings range from basinal pinnacle reefs covering only a few kilometres, to hundreds of kilometres through large isolated carbonate banks/platforms, to giant land-attached carbonate platforms that often extend over thousands of square kilometres. The carbonate sediments have been affected by diagenetic alterations coupled with tectonic stresses, leading to a multiscale heterogeneity within the reservoirs. This makes it complex to carry out the spatial modelling of the geological and petrophysical properties across the reservoirs and a challenge to predict the right dynamic behavior.

Workshop Objectives

The workshop aims to gather subsurface professionals from the oil and gas industry and academia across the region from different disciplines (geology, geophysics, petrophysics and reservoir engineering), to share their knowledge, experience, up-to date technologies and best practices. The workshop will consist of two days comprising of presentations, poster sessions and core displays, followed by a third day offering two optional field trips to the Abu Dhabi Sabkha, and Tertiary outcrops of Jebel Hafit.

Benefits of Attending

The workshop is a great opportunity for attendees to learn and get influence on up-to-date innovative approaches for carbonate reservoir characterization. In addition to that, this workshop is a technical platform for sharing the research experiences among the oil and gas professionals and academia, where they can address several reservoir challenges, discuss case studies and provide the best solutions to overcome these challenges. Also, the attendees during the workshop can be interactively engaged in selective topics during the breakout sessions.

Who should attend?

This workshop is intended for geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, academic researchers, and decision makers working on the exploration, appraisal and development of carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs.


3rd Edition: Carbonate Reservoirs of the Middle East – Call for Posters Ends on 15 December, 2019

You are invited to prepare a poster display for presentation. If you are interested in participating, please send a short abstract along with the poster artwork (in PDF high resolution format) to by 15 December 2019. All posters will be produced as pull-up banners and delivered by AAPG. There will not be any other format available for poster display. Please ensure that the poster artwork measurements are 85 cm (width) x 165 cm (height).

Poster Abstract Template

Tuesday 28 January:
Session 1: Unconventional and Tight Carbonate Reservoirs Development

Unconventional reservoirs are characterized by low porosity and permeability—they potentially have a high pressure-temperature nature and cannot be produced economically without the aid of stimulations. This session will address unique rock characteristics, geomechanics in-situ properties, well deliverability, reservoir accessibility, and key challenges and innovations associated with drilling, stimulation and completion design. Bringing together experts from the oil and gas industries and academia to share knowledge and experience will help to reveal the challenges linked to tight and unconventional reservoirs.

Session 2: Emerging Petroleum Play Concepts

Operating oil and gas companies have started focusing on deeper targets and remote areas to fulfill future production declines. In the last few years, quite a number of exploration wells have been drilled to assess the hydrocarbon potential in different stratigraphic intervals in the Middle East. Many lessons learned resulted from these exploration campaigns and lead to the improvement of drilling practices, smart utilization of the resources to improve the understanding of petroleum systems, as well as developing new techniques to overcome the exploration challenges. This session will emphasize petroleum play assessments in terms of hydrocarbon systems, geological settings, trapping geometries, hydrocarbon charges and migration. This session will also welcome contributions about strategic planning, optimizing chances of success, and innovations to push back the limits of exploration and production.

Wednesday 29 January:
Session 3: Advanced Seismic and Petrophysical Reservoir Characterization

The integration of advanced seismic and petrophysical interpretations plays a major role in reservoir characterization throughout the entire lifecycle of a field. These tools can help predicting lithology, reservoir property distribution and type of fluids both in developed and unexplored areas. The aim of the session is to demonstrate the importance of seismic data in the exploration stage to find hydrocarbon sweet spots and reduce the uncertainties of static and dynamic models during the development stage. The participants, including geologists, geophysicists and petrophysicists, will have the chance to interact and share real cases studies related to the following topics:

  • Advances in seismic processing techniques (PSDM, full-waveform inversion, etc.) for direct hydrocarbon indication and improved seismic interpretation
  • Seismic attributes and their use for structural and stratigraphic interpretation as well as reservoir characterization and identification of sweet spots.
  • Innovated interpretation workflows to estimate geomechanical properties focused on projects concerning fracking activities.
  • Well imaging, VSP and micro-seismic data applications for reservoir characterization
Sessions 4: New Approaches in Carbonate Reservoir Characterization and Modelling

Building predictive three-dimensional (3D) reservoir models of carbonates mainly depends on the existence of subsurface uncertainties and the intrinsic complexity of the target reservoir. Uncertainties related to the 3D distribution of facies, diagenetic features, fractures and petrophysical properties strongly affect hydrocarbon in-place calculations and the performance prediction of the production. This session will cover the latest achievements in reservoir characterization from basic core descriptions, core analysis, rock typing, towards building a static model, and reservoir simulations. The specific challenges for the development of carbonate reservoirs will be addressed.


AAPG Event Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 30 January, 2020 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Carbonates 8:00 AM 3:00 PM 24 July, 2019
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
30 January 2020
Date: January 30th, 2020
Time: 8am – 3pm
Start/Return Point: Abu Dhabi
Equipment Required: Sturdy boots/shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun-cream, etc.).
Fitness: Most places require light walking (100s meters / comparatively flat). Sabkha outcrop will involve some wading in ankle-deep water/mud.
Field Trip Leaders: Hesham Shebl, Ibrahim Al Ali and Hani El Sahn

The modern carbonate-evaporite depositional environments along the Abu Dhabi shoreline and offshore Abu Dhabi belong to the few areas of the world where the geoscientist can observe the interplay between carbonate and evaporite sedimentation.

The analysis of modern analogs is one of the few means by which high-resolution spatial complexity of stratigraphic systems can be described. If the horizontal dimensions of facies belts are less than the typical well spacing, modern analogs, together with seismic and production data help to construct realistic geologic and simulation models of subsurface reservoirs.

Supratidal (sabkha) to intertidal (microbial mat), and lowermost intertidal to shallow subtidal (lagoon: skeletal-peloid tidal-flat) environments will be studied along the Abu Dhabi coastline in the vicinity of Al-Qanatir Island.

Al-Qanatir Island: In the vicinity of the road to Al-Qanatir Island participants will be able to study a complete and undisturbed lateral facies succession of the upper supratidal to the shallow subtidal environments:

  • Upper supratidal stranded beach ridges
    • Topographic highs, some cm above the adjacent upper sabkha environment
  • Upper sabkha (upper supratidal)
    • Surface covered by polygonally-cracked halite crust
  • Middle sabkha (middle supratidal)
    • Surface covered by finely-crystalline, whitish anhydrite polygons
  • Lower sabkha (lower supratidal)
    • Surface covered by shiny, sparkling gypsum crystals
  • Upper to lower intertidal microbial mat
    • Crenulated or crinkled microbial mat above gypsum mush facies
    • Blistered and pinnacle microbial mat
    • Polygonal and tufted microbial mat
  • Lowermost intertidal to shallow subtidal.
    • Peloid-skeletal tidal-flat.

This trip provides an insight into recent to modern evaporitic coastal depositional systems, that can be considered analogues to parts of the Mesozoic reservoir systems of the Middle East (e.g. intra-Arab & Hith anhydrites).

8:00 am Depart for Sabkha outcrops at Al-Qanatir
9:00 am Arrive at Al-Qanatir Island
9:15 am Introduction
Stop 1: Lateral Sabkha Sequence
Stop 1a: Upper, Middle, and Lower Supratidal Sabkha Environment
Stop 1b: Upper, Middle and Lower Intertidal Microbial Mat Environment
Stop 1c: Lowermost Intertidal to Shallow Subtidal Peloid-Skeletal Tidal-Flat Environment
2:00 pm Depart Sabkha for Abu Dhabi

*Registration will be opening shortly

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AAPG Event Al Ain United Arab Emirates 30 January, 2020 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Carbonates 8:00 AM 3:00 PM 24 July, 2019
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
30 January 2020
Date: January 30th, 2020
Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Start/Return Point: Abu Dhabi
Equipment Required: • We cannot stress enough the importance of good sturdy field boots. If you are buying new boots, spend a few days “breaking in” the boots before coming to field.
• Good solid hiking or work boots (leather) (no long heels for field work)
&bull: Clothing for both hot and cold weather
• Personal hygiene items.
• Rain gear (waterproof, breathable) (in case)
Field Trip Leaders: Dr. Abdelwahab Noufal and Ismail Al Hosani

The one day field trip to Jabal Hafit is tailored to offer participants the opportunity to study the structural style and fracturing of carbonate rocks analogous to reservoir units of the globally important UAE oil province. The clear exposure of these carbonate rocks in this tectonically complicated area provides a significant opportunity to study and explain the structural style and deformation history of the region, with emphasis to study fractures pattern and fracturing mechanism with relation to the paleostress and in‐situ stresses, and the link to fractures hydraulic conductivity.

The proposed locations to be visited on this fieldtrip will demonstrate the stratigraphic relationship of the various rock units and their fracture systems that have been developed during long geological deformation. There are significant similarities between these exposed rocks and those units seen in the Abu Dhabi oil fields by means of depositional characteristics and fracture system and fracture related diagenesis (cementation/host rock alteration) with its impact on sealing potential.

List of the observation stops made over Jabal Hafit with their GPS record, lithology and structures:

*Registration will be opening shortly

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Field Trip Organizer

Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
Sas Al Nakhl
Abu Dhabi 126797
United Arab Emirates
+971 2 616 9999
Abu Dhabi - Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa Abu Dhabi - Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa 51885 Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa

We have a limited number of rooms blocked at the hotel at the rate of AED 529 (king/twin) per room per night. To book your room, please follow the link below. Should you face any issues with room booking please contact

Please note: The AAPG rate only applies to reservations for 27-30 January 2020. Please ensure you book your room before 26 December 2019, after this date the best available rate will apply.

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Salah Aldeen Al Qallabi Co-Chair ADNOC
Mahmoud Nazgah Co-Chair Saudi Aramco
Fatima Al Darmaki Committee Member ADNOC Sour Gas
Hesham Shebl Committee Member ADNOC
Ruth Andres Committee Member CEPSA
Stuart Walley Committee Member Emerson
Mohammad Alsuwaidi Committee Member Khalifa University
Aita Bijaripour Committee Member Schlumberger
Abdelmalek Messisha Committee Member Stratum Reservoir
Dirk Radies Committee Member Wintershall
Marketing & Events Officer, Middle East +971 4 3724201
Desktop /Portals/0/images/_portraits/L-P/no-image.jpg?width=75&quality=90&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 42585 Cora Navarro
Events Manager, Middle East +971 4 372 4202
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