Forum - A discussion of mature oil fields focusing on preventing decline.
As the price of oil reached approximately USD 147 per barrel on 3 July 2008, an increasing number of mature oil fields became attractive for redevelopment. On the fifth anniversary of the highest oil price yet attained TWA asked,“What defines a mature oil field?” According to Paul Bondor, 2010–11 SPE Distinguished Lecturer, retired from Shell after 35 years of technical and supervisory service, “a mature oil field is an oil field that is considered fully developed. There may be infill opportunities but in general the field development plan has been executed. “There may or may not be secondary recovery with gas or water injection. But if there are no additional wells to be drilled, you are doing a decent job of reservoir management and your production has peaked and is on decline. For example, with a strong and active aquifer you may never put water in the ground but you will still get eventual high water cut. “To me, a mature oil field is one where you have development in place, and the field has peaked and is on decline.”