What's new in production
Oman EOR. The Sultanate of Oman is blessed with oil, but much of that oil is heavy. Oman has experienced a drop in crude production over the past six years to 737,700 bopd in 2006 from 956,000 bopd in 2001. For the first five months of 2007, production continued dropping to an average 713,000 bopd. The average Omani well produces about 400 bopd. This situation creates a problem for the treasury, since some 40% of the country’s GDP comes from oil.
The government has acted and has put in motion several EOR projects to bring major heavy oil reserves into production. In 2005, Occidental Petroleum was granted a PSC to steam flood Mukhaizna field. Other fields being developed with EOR processes include Fahud, Harweel, Marmul and Qarn Alam.
Mukhaizna field covers more than 40 mi2 and holds reserves of over 2 billion bbl of original-oil-in-place. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), owned by the Omani government (60%), Shell (34%), Total (4%) and Partex (2%), discovered the south-central Oman field in 2000, but the company could only produce 10,000 bopd of the 15-16° API oil.
Oxy is applying steam flooding on a field-wide basis through horizontal wells. Some 800, 25-acre patterns are being drilled and developed to heat and force the oil out. Oxy plans to increase production to 50,000 bopd by 2008 and is on track to produce 150,000 bopd by 2012. Oxy (45%) will operate the field with partners Oman Oil Co. (20%), Shell Oman Trading Co. Ltd. (17%), Liwa Energy Ltd. (15%), Total E&P Oman (2%) and Partex (Oman) with 1%.
Production is coming from two zones: Upper Gharif 2 and Middle Gharif, which are unconsolidated Permian sands with lateral continuity. The carbonates and red clay of the Khuff formation form the seal. The field will cost over $3 billion to develop and will be produced over the next 30 yr.
Qarn Alam field was discovered in 1972 and began production in 1975. The field’s heavy oil is being developed in a different way from Mukhaizna field, thermally assisted gas/oil gravity drainage, which is similar to SAGD. The 15-16° API oil moves under gravity through the Middle Cretaceous Shuaiba formation, but adding steam heat at the top of the carbonate reservoir improves drainage through the fractured rock. The formation’s top is sealed by the Nahr Umr shale.
The field produces at around 1,000 bopd at present, but PDO awarded contracts in May that should raise production to 60,000 bopd by 2010. PDO will drill 150 wells and is planning to build a $250 million steam plant project to increase the field’s recovery factor to 25%-30% from 3%, extracting an additional 250–300 million bbl from the field.
An overview of Oman’s energy industry can be found at http://www.eoearth.org/article/Energy_profile_of_Oman.
Pipelines. China National Petroleum Corp. began operating a new pipeline in northwestern China. The new 961 mi line connects Shanshan county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, to the Yumen refinery and the Lanzhou refinery and petrochemical complex in Lanzhou city, Gansu province. The pipeline gathers crude from three company-operated oil fields in Xinjiang: Karamay, Tarim and Tuha, and can deliver up to 400,000 bpd of crude, according to CNPC. The first shipment was sent at the end of June.
The Perseus-over-Goodwyn Project, a natural gas pipeline system in the North West Shelf offshore Dampier, Western Australia, has been completed. The system is in 426 ft of water some 12 mi from the Goodwyn platform to the southwest and 5 mi from North Rankin field to the southeast. The subsea pipeline will bring gas from Perseus field to the Karratha gas plant onshore Western Australia and allow the Goodwyn platform’s production to be used as it comes online. The system begins operating in October.
An agreement was signed between Iran and Iraq to build pipelines transferring Iraqi crude and Iranian oil products. A 32-in. pipeline will bring crude from Basra, Iraq, to Abadan, Iran. In addition, a 16-in. pipeline will be built to carry products from Iran to Iraq. Iraq will buy Iranian oil products produced from the 100,000 bbl of Iraqi crude it sends across the border. No construction timetable has been decided.
New output. Devon Energy began producing from Polvo oil field in Campos basin Block BM-C-8 offshore Brazil. The field is in 300 ft of water and produces from a fixed platform, which is connected to an FPSO. The initial oil shipment will be offloaded from the FPSO in October. Production should reach 50,000 bopd in 2008 from its gross reserves of 50 million bbl. Devon, operator with 60%, along with its Korean partner SK Corp. (40%) discovered the field in 2004.
Norsk Hydro tested gas production from Ormen Lange field offshore Norway, in July. Well A2 was flow tested at 106 MMcfd, and gas flow will be expanded to 353 MMcfd when the field goes live in October. Three additional wells will be turned to sales at that time bringing production up to over 1 Bcfd. Eventually, the field will have 24 wells, producing up to 2.4 Bcfd. Ormen Lange gas will travel through the Langeled North pipeline to Sleipner for processing and then on to Europe and the UK.
Pemex began producing from the PB-KU-A2 platform in Ku-Maloob-Zaap field in Mexico’s Gulf of Campeche. The platform is presently exporting some 45,000 bopd.
Rally Energy announced a new dual-zone, heavy oil discovery in Egypt in the West Issaran No. 1 well, about two miles from Issaran field. The Lower Dolomite is producing 150 bopd conventionally from fractured rock, while the Upper Dolomite can be tapped with cyclic steam stimulation. Since 2004 the company has used steam to produce from Issaran field’s carbonate formations, which have an estimated 91.7 million bbl of recoverable proved and probable reserves.
AWE began producing from the Tui Area Development, in New Zealand’s PMP 38158 offshore in the Taranaki basin. Production is from four subsea horizontal wells in three oil fields which are tied back to the Umuroa FPSO. Output will grow to 50,000 bopd out of a pre-drill reserve estimate of 27.9 million bbl. AWE is operator with 42.5%, followed by partners Mitsui E&P New Zealand Ltd. (35%); Stewart Petroleum Co., Ltd. (12.5%) and WM Petroleum (10%).
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