Comparative Study between Different Oil Production Enhancement Scenarios in an Iraqi Tight Oil Reservoir


  • Ghanim M. Farman Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq
  • Ali Khaleel Farouk North Oil Company, Kirkuk, Iraq
  • Ayad A. Alhaleem Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq



hydraulic fracturing; horizontal wells; stimulation; oil recovery; Saadi reservoir


This paper presents a comparative study between different oil production enhancement scenarios in the Saadi tight oil reservoir located in the Halfaya Iraqi oil field. The reservoir exhibits poor petrophysical characteristics, including medium pore size, low permeability (reaching zero in some areas), and high porosity of up to 25%. Previous stimulation techniques such as acid fracturing and matrix acidizing have yielded low oil production in this reservoir. Therefore, the feasibility of hydraulic fracturing stimulation and/or horizontal well drilling scenarios was assessed to increase the production rate. While horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can improve well performance, they come with high costs, often accounting for up to 100% of the total well cost. To ensure economically viable flow rates and achieve maximum ultimate oil recovery, a technical and economic comparative study was conducted. The results indicate that hydraulic fracturing offers promising outcomes, with a total oil production of 153,816 Mbbl over 30 years from 25 fractured wells, resulting in a final Net Present Value (NPV) of 3,583.32 MM$.

   In contrast, the planned two horizontal wells exhibit lower eventual production and NPV compared to the majority of fractured wells. However, the 2000 m lateral section of well HF00Y-S00YH shows a slightly higher NPV. Considering the operational benefits and profitability, hydraulic fracturing should be seriously considered for the further development of the Saadi reservoir.

   This comparative study provides valuable insights into the most effective approach for enhancing oil production in tight reservoirs like Saadi, balancing the technical feasibility and economic viability of different stimulation scenarios. The findings can guide decision-making processes and contribute to maximizing oil recovery in similar challenging reservoirs.


Holditch, S. A. (2006). Tight gas sands. Journal of petroleum Technology, 58, 86-93.

Al-Sudani, J. A., and Husain, K. M. (2017). Evaluation of Acid and Hydraulic Fracturing Treatment in Halfaya Oil Field-Sadi Formation. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 18, 25-33.

Alameedy, U., Alhaleem, A.A., Isah, A. et al. (2022). Effect of acid treatment on the geomechanical properties of rocks: an experimental investigation in Ahdeb oil field. J Petrol Explor Prod Technol 12, 3425-3441.

Manshad, A.K., Dastgerdi, M.E., Ali, J.A. et al. (2019). Economic and productivity evaluation of different horizontal drilling scenarios: Middle East oil fields as case study. J Petrol Explor Prod Technol 9, 2449-2460.

Joshi, S. D (1988). Augmentation of well productivity with slant and horizontal wells (includes associated papers 24547 and 25308). Journal of Petroleum Technology, 40, 729-739.

Barree, R. D., Cox, S. A., Miskimins, J. L., Gilbert, J. V., and Conway, M. W. (2015). Economic optimization of horizontal-well completions in unconventional reservoirs. SPE Production & Operations, 30, 293-311.

Jassam, S. A., and Al-Fatlawi, O. (2023). Development of 3D Geological Model and Analysis of the Uncertainty in a Tight Oil Reservoir in the Halfaya Oil Field. The Iraqi Geological Journal, 56(1B), 128-142.

Noori, A. K., Lazim, S. A., and Ramadhan, A. A. (2019). Geological Model of the Tight Reservoir (Sadi Reservoir-Southern of Iraq). Journal of Engineering, 25(6), 30-43.

Shaoul, J. R., Ross, M. J., Spitzer, W. J., Wheaton, S. R., Mayland, P. J., & Singh, A. P. (2007). Massive hydraulic fracturing unlocks deep tight gas reserves in India. European Formation Damage Conference.

Farouk, A. K., and Al-haleem, A. A. (2022). Integrating Petrophysical and Geomechanical Rock Properties for Determination of Fracability of an Iraqi Tight Oil Reservoir. The Iraqi Geological Journal, 55(1F), 81-94.

Farhan, L. W., Almahdawi, F. H., and Hammadi, A. S. (2020). Dissolving Precipitated Asphaltenes Inside Oil Reservoirs Using Local Solvents. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 21(1), 45-52.

Cipolla, C. L., Warpinski, N. R., Mayerhofer, M. J., Lolon, E., & Vincent, M. C. (2008). The relationship between fracture complexity, reservoir properties, and fracture treatment design. SPE annual technical conference and exhibition.

Xu, S., Guo, J., Feng, Q., Ren, G., Li, Y., and Wang, S. (2022). Optimization of hydraulic fracturing treatment parameters to maximize economic benefit in tight oil. Fuel, 329, 125329.

Kolawole, O., Esmaeilpour, S., Hunky, R., Saleh, L., Ali-Alhaj, H. K., and Marghani, M. (2019). Optimization of hydraulic fracturing design in unconventional formations: impact of treatment parameters. In SPE Kuwait Oil & Gas Show and Conference. OnePetro.

Blyton, C. A., Gala, D. P., and Sharma, M. M. (2015). A comprehensive study of proppant transport in a hydraulic fracture. In SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. OnePetro.

Abdulrazak, A. A., Al-Khatieb, M., and Faris, H. A. (2015). Problems of Heavy Oil Transportation in Pipelines And Reduction of High Viscosity. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 16(3), 1-9.

Rickman, R., Mullen, M., Petre, J., Grieser, W., & Kundert, D. (2008). A practical use of shale petrophysics for stimulation design optimization: all shale plays are not clones of the Barnett shale. 2008 SPE annual technical conference & exhibition.

Khudhair, S., and Al-Mahdawi, F. H. (2022). Optimization of Drilling Well Design: A Review. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 23(4), 91-99.

Guo, B., Zhou J. , Liu Y., and Ghalambor .A. (2007). A rigorous analytical model for fluid flow in drainholes of finite conductivity applied to horizontal and multilateral wells. Production and Operations Symposium.

Yuan, G., Dwivedi, P., Kwok, C. K., and Malpani, R. (2017). The impact of increase in lateral length on production performance of horizontal shale wells. In SPE Europec featured at 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition. OnePetro.

Joshi, S. D. (1986). Augmentation of Well Productivity Using Slant and Horizontal Wells. In SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. OnePetro.

Farman, G. M., and Abdulamir, M. R. (2014). Formulation of New Equation to Estimate Productivity Index of Horizontal Wells. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 15(2), 61-73.

Jahn, F., Cook, M., and Graham, M. (2008). Chapter 14 Petroleum economics. Developments in Petroleum Science, 55, 337-364.‏




How to Cite

Farman, G. M., Farouk, A. K., & Alhaleem, A. A. (2023). Comparative Study between Different Oil Production Enhancement Scenarios in an Iraqi Tight Oil Reservoir. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 24(2), 97–105.