Keeping mature fields economically viable

Understanding current field and well production to help extend the life of a mature asset

Mature fields provide about 70 percent of today’s global hydrocarbon production, yet we extract only about 35 percent of what we find. That means that for every 100 barrels we discover, we’re leaving 65 in the ground. An improvement in recovery of just one percent would deliver the equivalent of two years of global production.Extending Peak Production Beyond the Decline Curve - Mature Fields

Every mature field is unique, and to make each economically viable requires accurate information specific to that field, a robust methodology for assessment, and the right combination of solutions.

Through our UpLift® mature field service, we work with operators to understand their current field and well production and then determine the right set of technical solutions to extend the life of a mature  asset beyond its decline curve.

To extend peak production, the UpLift service can take either a well-centric or a field-centric approach. The well-centric approach involves intervention solutions to maintain or increase production levels at the lowest possible cost per BOE. Accurate information on the well can be gathered through cased-hole evaluation — Halliburton cross-trained crews can deploy sensors via e-line, slickline or tubing, whichever works best for the operator.

The field-centric approach entails solutions to enhance reservoir contact, access bypassed pay, and improve estimated ultimate recovery to maximize asset value. A robust project management methodology like front-end loading (FEL) can be combined with this approach, especially for highly capital intensive or long lifecycle projects. This methodology entails detailed planning early in a project’s lifecycle so that any necessary changes can be made more economically and strategically. Six phases comprise FEL: visualization, conceptualization, definition, implementation, operation, and abandonment.

We used this methodology to plan the revitalization of the Lago Agrio mature field in Ecuador, to identify and manage risks and uncertainties, and determine recommendations for value creation, best practices, and analytical processes, as described in an SPE paper titled Integrated Productivity Analysis for Revitalizing a Mature Field in Ecuador (SPE-180193-MS).The applied workflow helped to pinpoint reservoir uncertainties that were affecting well production, and then identify possibilities for rapid increase in production from those wells. A series of well interventions were performed, obtaining an additional 3,000 BOPD. Combining such workflows with our reservoir expertise and global experience, we can help operators unlock the economic potential of mature fields through extend production and improved recovery methods.

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