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Abstract: Optimizing Development Projects in Mature Basins

R. A. Davis, M. J. Sawyer

In October 1994 Ninian became the third UK Field to attain true 'Giant' status by producing its one billionth barrel of oil. Despite its maturity, significant potential still remains.

Recent years have seen a change in operating practice to include more high-angle and horizontal drilling, often at the expense of "high risk" and costly workovers. However, although rewards are high, potential infill targets are typically 'tight' and well placement becomes critical in maximizing reserves recovery.

To aid in the final drilling program, Chevron and its Partners gave the go-ahead to acquire a new high resolution 3D seismic survey in 1995. The survey was acquired during April/June, and will be processed and available for interpretation by year-end. The primary business justification for the 3D acquisition was to allow future redrills to be located in their optimum positions, since the majority are in either structurally complex areas or close to faults where fault definition has a major impact on the wells' success.

Additionally, amplitude analysis on recent 3D surveys shot over similar Northern North Sea Fields has demonstrated success in distinguishing variations in water saturation, and therefore has highlighted the potential to observe by-passed oil.

The first drilling targets to be based on the new 3D seismic interpretation are to be drilled during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 1996.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France