MORSE, ROBERT, ARCO Alaska Inc., Anchorage, AK; STEVE JONES, BP Exploration Alaska, Anchorage, AK; DAVID PULS, ExxonMobil Azerbaijan Operating Company, Baku, Azerbaijan; STEVE RAINEY, BPA Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland
Prudhoe Bay field, entering its third decade of production, has produced over 9 BBO. Increasingly smaller reserve targets have been made economically and operationally viable with sustained reductions in drilling costs, significant improvements in geosteering drilling capabilities, and well targeting resolution on the order of tens of feet. This diminishing, complex, and tightly constrained production environment mandates continual efforts to reduce technical risk and improve operating efficiency. The analysis of development play types is one such effort.
Complex oil fields such as Prudhoe Bay field can be meaningfully subdivided into development play types which represent significant categories of reserve opportunities that share similar combinations of geologic, drilling, and/or engineering risk, as well as performance. A statistical basis for the prediction of play type performance, risk reduction, and reserve potential can be attained by reviewing the performance of many wells that represent a given play type. These performance appraisals can provide metrics and insight to systematically improve performance by focusing on improved drilling and targeting practices, as well as focusing our data gathering and analysis on critical play risks only. Play type analysis provides the basis for portfolio management, as opposed to individual well prediction and management. Furthermore, identification of key play risks versus reserves potential can dramatically focus technology development efforts.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90911©2000 AAPG Pacific Section and Western Region Society of Petroleum Engineers, Long Beach, California