Improving Megaproject Economics Through the Use of Early Production

Topics: Field start-up/commissioning Project management
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A key aspect of the project discussed in this paper is the use of minimal initial-production facilities to achieve significant early production from each of four preconstructed artificial islands. The initial-production facilities leverage the use of spare processing capacity on existing adjacent satellite platforms to allow for production from each of the islands during the 4-year period between completion of the first wells and completion and startup of the permanent production facilities.


The project is approximately 80 km offshore in the Persian Gulf and consists of four artificial islands. The objective of the initial production phase is to provide early and sustained production from wells drilled on the islands as soon as they are available, thereby achieving advanced revenue generation and improved project economics while the permanent production facilities are under construction.

Initial startup was achieved from the first island in November 2014, followed by initial startup of the second island in April 2015. This is the first phase of the plan to increase production from the field by approximately 40%. The project is segmented into an initial-­production phase and permanent production buildup phases. The initial-production phase will continue until completion of the first permanent production buildup phase in 2018.

The project achieved startup of initial production within 4 years of conceptual design in 2010 and a minimum of 4 years before completion of the permanent production facilities, thereby achieving the goal of capturing the benefits of the ­initial-production strategy.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 177729, “Improving Megaproject Economics Through the Use of Early Production,” by James A. Volker and Adam J. Bond, Zakum Development Company, prepared for the 2015 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 9–12 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Improving Megaproject Economics Through the Use of Early Production

26 September 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 10