Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Carbonate reservoir; EOR; Recovery economics; Tar-mat; Unconventional oil


"Tar-mat columns exist in many carbonate reservoirs in the Middle East. Historically, tar-mats have been thought to impede primary oil extraction, thus necessitating further improved oil recovery (IOR) technology applications. However, this research considers tar-mats as potential sources for unlocking extremely difficult crude oil, less than 5 ⁰API. The main objective of the study was to understand the qualitative physical and chemical properties of extremely viscous tar-mat oil and the quantitative potential of tar-mats to extract difficult oil.

The physical and chemical geneses of the tar-mat oil were analyzed utilizing several experimental geochemical techniques, including rock evaluation pyrolysis, liquid extracts (SARA analysis), and Pregl-Dumas (CHNSO) elemental analysis. The results showed that oil recovery increased significantly as the temperature increased, while the heavier compounds, Nitrogen, Sulfur, and Oxygen (NSO), decreased. The geochemical analysis results showed that the Kuwaiti carbonate reservoir under investigation was oilprone and capable of oil/gas production. Most of the rock samples were thermally mature and good in terms of hydrocarbon generation. Additionally, the Hydrogen to Carbon (H/C) ratio increased as the API decreased. Toluene treatment produced the greatest oil recovery pattern at all tested temperatures, while surfactant and hot water yielded less oil recovery, respectively.

This research proposes a novel method for systematically characterizing and evaluating tar-mat reservoir rocks so that a greater quantity of non-conventional tar-mat oils can be added to the world market. This research also proposes a new model that can contribute to API gravity prediction for solid tar-mats"--Abstract, page iii.


Bai, Baojun

Committee Member(s)

Flori, Ralph E.
Al-Bazzaz, Waleed
Wei, Mingzhen
Neogi, P. (Partho), 1951-


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Petroleum Engineering


King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2014


xxiv, 256 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 250-255).

Geographic Coverage

Ahmadi, Kuwait


© 2014 Abdullah Owidah Almansour, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Carbonate reservoirs -- Kuwait -- Ahmadi
Enhanced oil recovery
Oil reservoir engineering

Thesis Number

T 10603

Electronic OCLC #



Dissertation Location