Wytch Farm Oil Field, England: Quantifying the Benefit of 3D Seismic for a Mature Field
Stephen D. Thompson and Rodney P. Bligh
In 1994 the Wytch Farm oilfield in Dorset, England was in the late stages of development. Production from the onshore part of the field was in decline and offshore development using Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) was well advanced. The difficulty in quantifying benefits from 3D seismic investment at this point in field life was compounded by an environmentally sensitive and densely populated location. The operation would be logistically difficult, and therefore expensive, in a transition zone environment.
By quantifying the benefits of seismic acquisition, investment in 3D could compete with other more easily quantifiable investment opportunities. Furthermore, the study identified the non-technical risks and a strategy to manage these. This was founded on selection of an acquisition technique designed to minimize the impact on the environment and other users of the area. The result was clear project objectives driven by a timetable which would deliver business value.
Twelve months after the start of acquisition, and only 9 months after product delivery, the actual value already delivered by the 3D seismic can be estimated. Clear value from reducing the cycle-time has been gained by clear focus on business objectives. The option to invest in 3D competed successfully with other more tangible possibilities and has been a technical and business success story for Wytch Farm.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California