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Developing Flank Areas in a Giant Carbonate Field With Horizontal-Well Placement

Topics: Carbonates

Successful development of flank areas depends on accurate reservoir characterization—in particular, water-saturation distribution—in addition to the optimal areal and vertical placement of wells. In relatively thin reservoirs, horizontal wells are generally preferred to increase reservoir contact; the proper spacing and vertical placement of these wells are critical. To test the initial concept in the field, two existing producers were converted into injectors, and pressures were monitored at the offset producers.

Introduction

The subject oil field is one of the world’s largest offshore carbonate reservoirs and has a production life in excess of 100 years. The field was historically developed with wellhead tower platforms made of steel structures and a combination of vertical and 1-km-long horizontal wells in a five-spot pattern. A new development plan was proposed in 2008 that deployed artificial islands as drilling centers and used extended-reach-drilling technology. In addition, well counts were significantly reduced by deploying longer (3-km) horizontal laterals, referred to as maximum-reservoir-contact (MRC) wells. The development plan comprised both surface and subsurface components, which were effectively integrated to provide maximum flexibility in terms of development options as well as handling of reservoir uncertainties. Because the aquifer support for the subject field is weak, the development consists of a waterflood with line drive to be followed later by gas injection. This island-based plan was approved by shareholders in 2008, and implementation began soon thereafter.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 161591, “Development of Flank Areas in a Giant Carbonate Field With Optimal Placement of Horizontal Wells,” by Sameer Khan, SPE, Ali Al-Shabeeb, Zankar Jani, Yousef Azoug, Nguyen Minh, and Harshad Patel, SPE, Zakum Development Company, prepared for the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 11–14 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Developing Flank Areas in a Giant Carbonate Field With Horizontal-Well Placement

01 October 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 10

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