AAPG Middle East Region GTW, Maximizing Asset Value: Integrating Geoscience with Reservoir Management & Facilities Optimization

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Collaborative Planning: The Flexible Freeze (or Controlled Chaos) Required for Success – Khazzan Field, Oman


Successful execution of major projects depends upon: 1) a good plan; 2) good people; and 3) everyone working together to a common goal. Whilst 1) and 2) are usually a given, ultimate success or failure can often come down to how well different teams with diverse and sometimes apparently unrelated goals can work together and accommodate each other’s’ requirements and issues. The Khazzan Giant Gas development is one of the largest onshore new field developments undertaken by BP (and any other major IOC?) in the last 20 years. It includes construction of a huge Central Processing Facility (CPF), 1000s of kilometres of flow lines and roads and hundreds of wells. First Gas was achieved in a little over 3 years from project sanction, by which time over 70 wells had been drilled and completed. During this period, new well and seismic data during early field development enabled the subsurface team to identify an opportunity to cut 100 wells from the original plan and redefine the well layout. However, such a wholescale change is not easily accomplished when Project teams are busy constructing flowlines (and the CPF!) and building well pads while Drilling teams are operating 10 rigs drilling 30+ wells a year. In Khazzan, every individual well, both surface and subsurface locations had to be carefully examined to avoid topography hazards (such as mushy sabkha and sand dunes) and geological faulting in the overburden and reservoir, and agreed by Subsurface, Drilling and Projects teams prior to pad construction. Complex locations would require several iterations to get right. The current Khazzan development plan and drilling schedule is in a constant state of controlled change – such as to minimize costly rig move distances, or in response to forecast flow line capacity constraints. BP developed a planning tool to help decision making that integrates drillings schedules, individual well production profiles, flowline capacity limits, and the field reservoir property maps that is used in the collaboration meetings of Subsurface, Drilling, Projects and Operations teams to visualize and optimize the field project plan. This has enabled rapid response and optimization of the plan in response to new information, be it a new well, production data, a reservoir interpretation or a change in rig count. Changes, however, are carefully controlled: the programme is frozen for a minimum 6 months (which amounts to the time required to plan and build a new well pad) to avoid chaos and delivering a better plan.