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Technical Paper: New Life for a Mature Oil Province via a Massive Infill Drilling Program

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 104034
Presentation Date: 2006
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Abstract

Breathing new life into a mature oil field is a challenge that has been facing national and private oil companies for almost as long as the oil industry has been in existence.  Oil production from mature fields accounts for approximately 70% of the worldwide oil production.  Unfortunately, more often than not, mature oil fields equate to high cost and low productivity, making mature fields unattractive when competing for resources with other options in a company's portfolio of investments.

Major opportunities for production optimization in mature oil provinces are typically scarce, more so, if throughout the long lives of the fields nearly all conventional optimization strategies have already been attempted and implemented.  The re-development project presented in this and its companion paper (SPE 10401) looked at the technical and business opportunities for two main re-development components.  The first component aims to beat the natural production decline curve via the implementation of a massive infill drilling program; the second component aims to maintain production levels through the integration of various Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) methodologies.

A multi-disciplinary team studied and recommended the implementation of a massive infill drilling program in a portion of Block 10, operated by Petrobras Energia Peru S.A. in the Talara area of Peru, to improve recoveries in a column of over 2,500 ft of shaly sands, with absolute permeabilities not higher than 1 md and with average well spacing already in the order of 20 Acre.  The study included the design of the facilities to process and handle the incremental production. 

Analyses confirm that a massive infill drilling program would significantly increase the production in a period of 4 years, from current 3,200 bopd.  The study also identified the areas with best potential for infill drilling.  Among the sub-products developed in the study were a new production database to facilitate the task of mapping and calculating volumetrics, and a new methodology to estimate average net pay thickness from limited log information.  The approach and methodologies developed for this project can be used to give new life to mature oil provinces around the world.

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