Forties Infill Drilling Eight Years on; Continued Success Through the Application of Thorough Development Geoscience Driven by 4D Seismic
- Philip Rose | Jeff Pyle (Apache North Sea Ltd) | Gregg Barker (Apache North Sea Ltd) | Klaas Koster (Apache North Sea Ltd)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Offshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, 6-8 September, Aberdeen, UK
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.1.7 Seismic Processing and Interpretation, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.1.8 Seismic Modelling, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 1.1 Well Planning, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.1.9 Four-Dimensional and Four-Component Seismic, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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In the eight years since Apache purchased the Forties Field from BP over 100 infield targets have been drilled with an overall success rate of 74%. As a result of this infill drilling campaign the field production rate has been held at a plateau rate of 60,000 bopd despite an average rate of 41,000 bopd in 2003, the year of purchase from BP. Indeed the success of this campaign has resulted in a shortage of sidetrack donor wells so there has been a return to surface drilling on all five platforms. Furthermore, to enable the full exploitation of the forward target portfolio Apache is installing a new 18 slot platform, the Forties Alpha Satellite Platform (FASP) in 2012.
Key to Apache's success on Forties has been a constant drive to push the boundaries of 4D seismic interpretation and lithology prediction from seismic and the ability to integrate this information with local production and well data. In this paper case histories are presented to illustrate our approach to target generation and the evolution of target generation over time is evaluated.
The above methodology has led to many convincing successes over the years. The acquisition of a new 4D seismic volume in 2010 has resulted in a significant boost to our drilling results, allowing us to have our most productive drilling 6 months to date, including one well with an initial production rate of 12,000 bopd, the highest initial rate recorded in the field since 1992.
The Forties Field in the UK Central North Sea was purchased by Apache from BP in 2003 at which time it was a giant field in the decline phase of its life. Annualized average production was 41,000 bopd and declining. No new wells had been drilled since 2001 when the previous BP drilling campaign had been cancelled. This was a long way from the glory days of the early 1980s when the field was producing between 500,000 and 400,000 bopd. By 2003 the field had produced a cumulative 2.5 billion barrels of oil out of an in place volume between 4.2 and 5 billion barrels and the field was sold with 144 mmbo remaining reserves. Since then Apache has tested over 100 drilling targets, made over 80 production completions and 4 injection completions. As a result of the Apache drilling campaign the annualized average production rate has been held close to 60,000bopd since 2005 and Apache has produced over 150 mmbo from the field of which 75 mmbo has been produced from Apache drilled wells. Currently the field produces between 50,000 and 70,000 bopd over 70% of which is from Apache drilled wells (Figure 1). Going forward there is a dynamic and constantly evolving remaining target portfolio, the strength of which has allowed the new 18 slot Forties Alpha Satellite platform to be commissioned for installation in 2012. In this paper Apache's target generation workflow is discussed in the light of evolving target generation methodologies
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