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Development of a Stranded Tight Gas Field in the North Sea With Hydraulic Fracturing

Topics: Offshore
Fig. 1—Kew field location in the southern North Sea (NL indicates the Netherlands sector).

There are more than 100 accumulations in the southern North Sea that are flagged as stranded fields. One of these stranded tight gas fields, the Kew field, has been developed successfully with the use of a subsea well, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing. Because this was a subsea development well, all the hydraulic-fracturing operations had to be performed with the rig in place. The utmost efficiency of the operations was paramount; otherwise, the economics of the project would be affected negatively.

Well Overview

The Kew field is a gas field, with small volumes of associated condensate, located in Blocks 49/4a, 49/5a, 49/5b, and 49/4c of the UK continental shelf. It lies 120 km east of the English coast and 5 km west of the UK/Netherlands median line. The field location is pictured in Fig. 1 above. (For further geological and geophysical details of the Kew field, please see the complete paper.)

The planned Kew 49/04c-7Y subhorizontal development well was drilled along the crest of the Kew structure and is a sidetrack of the existing (suspended) Kew appraisal well 49/4c-7z.

The planned sidetrack 49/04c-7Y was initially intended to target the Lower Carboniferous units. To maximize reservoir contact, the well was initially planned to be completed with four to five hydraulic fractures, with a minimum of one per target unit. Because of the proximity to the gas/water contact, the decision was made to complete the well with a cased-and-cemented liner and plug-and-perforation technique for placement and isolation of the hydraulic fractures. Previous experi­ences with openhole uncemented multi­stage systems have positively affected the efficiency of hydraulic-fracturing execution in the North Sea. Also, previous experience of spalling and out-of-gauge hole was another driver toward a cemented system.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 170852, “Development of a Stranded Tight Gas Field in the UK Southern North Sea With Hydraulic Fracturing Within a Subsea Horizontal Well: A Case Study,” by Marc Langford, SPE, Douglas Westera, SPE, and Brian Holland, SPE, Centrica Energy, andBogdan Bocaneala, SPE, and Mark Norris, SPE, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2014 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, 27–29 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Development of a Stranded Tight Gas Field in the North Sea With Hydraulic Fracturing

01 April 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 4

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