Jeff D. Milton
Beta Field is located in OCS waters, offshore from Orange County, California. Beta was discovered in the mid-1970s and developed in the early 1980's. The productive portion of the field is a complexly faulted monocline consisting of Delmontian deep-water sands and shales trapped updip against the Palos Verdes Fault. The 1000 ft oil bearing package is subdivided into seven different sand members (A through F).
All development drilling on SWEPI acreage has taken place from two platforms located at opposite ends of the field approximately 7600 feet apart. Primary development targets were designed so that the highest quality sand (the D Sand) was optimally developed and evenly spaced. Directional drilling at high angles has caused an under-drained 'gap' in several of the shallow pay-bearing horizons above the D Sand. The shallow sands in the gap between the development patterns were the targets of this well (OCS-P 0301 C-57).
The operational need for an updip, higher GOR, penetration required a creative directional plan. After initially drilling westerly at hole angles up to 70 degrees, C-57 then made a 170° right-handed turn to the east in order to then penetrate the objective section for over 3000 measured feet. This 'fishhook' orientation resulted in a five fold increase in exposed pay and a penetration near four degrees of parallel with bedding.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90958©1995 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, San Francisco, California