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Abstract: Optimizing Development Projects in Mature Basins

Philip J. Swan

BP Exploration wishes to grow its gas business substantially and the Southern North Sea area expects to be a significant contributor to this growth.

The Southern North Sea gas basin is characterised by a relatively large number of small prospects and discoveries lying within the catchment areas of existing pipeline systems serving larger fields currently in production.

This growth will be achieved through expansion of production from existing large mature fields and new satellite developments, connected to existing pipeline systems. Significant modification to existing infrastructure will be required to bring the new production on stream.

The low materiality of many of these new developments means that, based on current cost paradigms, they are sub-economic or do not offer returns commensurate with the risk. Also, implementation based on classical approaches tends to be resource-intensive in terms of key skills.

Critical areas of concern in delivering growth objectives therefore relate to management of cost, implementation time and productivity of key human resources.

The general approach adopted in pursuit of high performance includes a number of features:

-- Innovative approaches to the service industries.
-- Simplification of equipment.
-- Streamlining of methodologies.
-- Application of novel technology.
-- Alignment of motivation of all contributors to overall objectives.
-- Shifting the paradigm of risk.

BP believes that this approach is a major breakthrough in extending and expanding the life of its assets in the Southern North Sea and is representative of the trend of optimisation in the extended life of the basin in general.

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