What the team says...
Having first established safe operations, a guiding principle for Fairfield is that every barrel counts. The production aim for the Dunlin area is to economically produce every available barrel. It might be thought that in a mature development like Dunlin there wouldn’t be many opportunities left for production enhancement. However, when taking a closer look at each stage of the production chain, from reservoir to wells to facilities to export and including the benefits of effective water injection, a considerable number of opportunities exist to both sustain and grow the production rate.
We then need to decide upon the right opportunities, and the threats, to consider and we need to generate a remaining life of field plan that fits with the operational and integrity management of the platform and subsea facilities. To do this, Fairfield has grouped the subsurface and production engineering functions into a Production Enhancement team. The team is responsible for generating options for production enhancement and for ensuring sustainable production delivery. These options include new drilling targets, well interventions or recompletions, water injection optimisation and reservoir voidage strategies.
The subsurface part of the team, consisting of reservoir engineers, geologists and geophysicists, is responsible for mapping and modeling all the fields in the Dunlin area. This enables the team to come up with the reservoir based ideas for production enhancement which may be new wells or sidetracks or more optimal use of existing facilities. For the producing fields this is Dunlin, Dunlin SW, Osprey and Merlin and there are also the subsea tieback options around the Skye discovery.
The production engineering part of the team, many of whom work on rotation offshore, manage the existing well stock and day-to-day production. The onshore team members undertake well-modeling and allocation and ensure that the production and well performance is understood all the way through to hydrocarbon accounting.
The integration of this subsurface and production activity leads to the development of a full hopper of production enhancement ideas. Delivery of these ideas requires close integration with the operations, drilling and well integrity teams. With a full hopper of options, the input of the production enhancement team allows the production benefit of each option to be properly understood.
A key product of this effort, and a key responsibility of the Production Enhancement team, is production forecasting. This is both the shorter term forecasting for production and financial management and life of field forecasting for strategic development. Depending on the activity that it is supporting, this process cycles on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis and is critical to the determining the right areas to prioritise in order to maximise value for the Company.
Tony Peters, Principal Petroleum Engineer comments comments:
“The Dunlin area is currently Fairfield’s production base so we are ensuring that we focus our efforts to first sustain and then grow our production. It’s exciting to see the number of options we have to do this. Our immediate objective is to maximise water injection capacity, ensuring both injection efficiency and well integrity. We also need to optimise the reservoir voidage management for each of the contributing fields with the available water injection. Once we’ve got this right, we can underpin the existing production and add further production through new wells, targeting un-swept pools in the reservoir. This is a well trodden path for mature water-flood reservoir development. For us, the challenge is to take all these established ideas, to chose the right ones to do first, and to work with the operations, drilling and subsea teams implement them safely and effectively in a mature asset environment.”
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