--> Abstract: Silvertip Field Development in the Ultra-Deep Water, Perdido Foldbelt, Gulf of Mexico, by Vern Eikrem, Olga Kostenko, Michael Medeiros, Terrell Stroud, Yvonne Gonzalez, Gary Gray, Ruijian Li, and Julia Hamilton; #90124 (2011)

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Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

Silvertip Field Development in the Ultra-Deep Water, Perdido Foldbelt, Gulf of Mexico

Vern Eikrem1; Olga Kostenko1; Michael Medeiros1; Terrell Stroud1; Yvonne Gonzalez1; Gary Gray1; Ruijian Li1; Julia Hamilton1

(1) Perdido Development, Shell Exploration and Production Americas, Houston, TX.

The Silvertip Field is a Middle Oligocene hydrocarbon accumulation within an anticlinal structure located in the ultra-deep water region of the Perdido fold-belt. The hydrocarbon reservoirs are stacked series of Middle Frio turbiditic sands, which are oil-bearing in the northern part of the anticline. Depositional architecture is characterized by amalgamated and channelized turbidite sheets and lobes, which are bisected by a number of deep water sand-filled canyons. The thickest, best quality reservoir sands are the canyon-fill sands at the top of the Middle Frio sequence. These are composed primarily of amalgamated channel sands without significant mud drape coverage. The sheet and lobe sand reservoirs are composed of both amalgamated sheet and channel sands with highly heterogeneous internal architecture and lateral variability across the field. Interpretation of individual horizons is of high confidence, but the internal architecture of lobes and channels is poorly imaged. Faults with E-W and NE-SW orientations are present in the southwestern and northeastern parts of the structure. The hydrocarbon accumulations are trapped by combined structural-stratigraphic closures. Most of the hydrocarbon accumulations are amplitude supported with presence of well defined flat-spots in the channel sands. Reservoir fluid pressures taken by MDT indicate the presence of multiple seal-reservoir pairs within the field. The seismic resolution is poor in the northeastern part of the anticline due to the proximity of the salt overhang extension in front of an allochthonous salt body. Development of the Silvertip Middle Frio reservoirs is technically challenging and carries significant reservoir uncertainty and risk, including: reservoir rock properties, compaction, permeability, and compartmentalization. In addition, well mechanical integrity and skin remain significant uncertainties. This development will therefore be staged. The first stage consisted of two horizontal development wells that have been successfully drilled and completed in Q4 2008, targeting the two best canyon-fill reservoirs. These two development wells were executed in world-record water depth (9300 ft), and they exceeded the rock property predictions made in the earlier static reservoir models. Production from these wells will start in Q4 2010. The second stage will include additional horizontal development wells targeting deeper Middle Frio levels represented by canyon-fill and lobe reservoirs.