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IJsselmonde-Ridderkerk, The Netherlands: Development of a Mature Oil Field

J. Blokzijl

The IJsselmonde-Ridderkerk oil field is the largest field in the west Netherlands. It was discovered in 1956 by IJsselmonde (IJS)-1 in the rural areas southeast of the city of Rotterdam, which at that time mainly consisted of open meadows. It found oil (18° API, 35 cP) in the Cretaceous Delftland and IJsselmonde Sandstone reservoirs. Total reserves are estimated at 17 × 106m3 (107 × 106bbl) of oil. The IJsselmonde sandstones are the main reservoirs.

Until recently, the structural configuration of the reservoir was based on limited seismic data of poor quality, supplemented by drilling results during the development phase (95 wells excluding sidetracks).

The main development plans were directed to the prolific IJsselmonde Sandstone reservoir, which was initially regarded as a single homogeneous unit. After several years of production, however, it became clear that this reservoir is layered. It is a series of different genetic sand units (stacked barrier sequence) separated by shales (marine and lagoonal), which created a complicated three-dimensional drainage pattern.

After 25 years of production, a more detailed geologic reservoir model and better structural definition were required to optimize recovery. The field entered its "second" life. A modern seismic survey was required, but by this time (1982) field installations were surrounded by high-rise buildings, providing housing for about 50,000.

In 1983 it was decided to carry out a three-dimensional seismic survey. To obtain full seismic coverage, use was made of different seismic energy sources: Vibroseis in the built-up areas, Previous HitairNext Hit Previous HitgunTop in the rivers and harbors, and low-charge dynamite in the remaining rural areas. This good quality survey has been interpreted in conjunction with a complete production and geological review.

The experience gained in dealing with some of the planological, environmental, geological, and production problems in a densely populated area shows that the development of oil and gas fields can be optimized in urban locations by utilizing modern technology.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91030©1988 AAPG Annual Convention, Houston, Texas, 20-23 March 1988.