Field Development Projects
The new dynamics and strategies of field development are marked more than ever by the profitability considerations imposed by an extended period of low oil prices. The new market scenario has apparently cornered producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain their production volumes because reducing production to raise oil prices would trigger profitability levels for shale oil and nonconventional producers. Interweaved forces of precarious equilibrium affect field development and redevelopment plans.
The papers presented at main SPE conferences are grounded in this reality, and I found that a staggering number of articles by researchers and service and producing companies are related to theoretical and real-data economic modeling, with approaches rarely seen before, where the long-term profitability has acquired prime weight. Early assessments of the future reservoir response to enhanced-recovery systems need more-detailed, -reliable, and -precise forecasts to enable decisions of ever-more-demanding investors and stakeholders in international and national oil companies.
Development/redevelopment plans for new and established oil fields of any kind undergo a detailed screening of future performance in low-price scenarios, and further challenges to cost arise when producing from frontier areas or from reservoirs with different maturity levels at the same time or with environmentally challenged production systems.
The papers selected typify this new trend and exemplify several of the challenges experienced in new and mature oil fields. Paper SPE 181598 showcases challenges for offshore redevelopment in the Middle East to extend production for 25 years. Paper IPTC 18984 accounts for an incipient shale development in China, and paper SPE 182269 departs from the conventional net-present-value maximization and capital-expenditure minimization to explore alternative options for subsea-production-systems design.
The industry is evolving to a more factual approach to profitability, with emphasis in modeling the long-term scenarios with detail. And this applies for developments in both mature and new fields.
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 182632 Model-Based Well-Location Optimization—A Robust Approach by B.A. Ramirez, Shell, et al.
OTC 27592 Johan Sverdrup—Creating a Unique Environment for Successful Drilling Operations in an Accelerating Spotlight Project by Jákup Øregaard, Statoil, et al.
SPE 184848 Optimizing Well Spacing and Well Performance in the Piceance Basin Niobrara Formation by N. Li, Black Hills Exploration and Production, et al.
Field Development Projects
Maria A. Capello, SPE, Executive Adviser, Kuwait Oil Company
01 October 2017
Can a Computer Spot Possibilities a Team of Engineers Would Miss?
A startup company has created a system to create thousands of offshore development ideas by rapidly putting together components like building blocks, which its founders argue will force design teams to look outside their comfort zone.
Argentina’s Shale Play is Beginning to Live up to Expectations
Wells are starting to come on stronger than expected, which is putting a new emphasis on orginizing all the other ingredients needed for shale production: more rigs, roads, pipelines, water, and sand.
Another Big Gas Field Starts Production Offshore Egypt
More gas is flowing from Egyptian waters and the Eastern Mediterranean with BP’s launch of its Atoll Phase One project.
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12 June 2018
20 June 2018