BP Alaska Heavy Oil Production from the Ugnu Fluvial-Deltaic Reservoir
The Alaska North Slope is a prolific hydrocarbon basin that has produced billions of barrels of light oil. As the basin matures and production declines, it is necessary to investigate other means by which to extend field life. As a result, BP Alaska has appraised the fluvial-deltaic Ugnu reservoir and associated heavy oil fluids in order to demonstrate the technical viability of producing heavy oil on the North Slope. In 2011 & 2012, the large heavy oil resource (approximately 18Bn bbls) has been tested via a four well production pilot. Due to limited surface locations and permafrost issues, two horizontal wells with surface drive progressive cavity pump were selected for appraisal of the Ugnu Formation. Acquisition of quality data and a proactive approach to well management allowed up to 20% sand production to be sustained over the test period. Data will be shown to demonstrate the improvement in performance relative to conventional horizontal predictions and how the sand production is enhancing oil rates through wormhole extension. An update on continued production results will be shared in the presentation. Note: the heavy oil resources face significant technological and investment challenges in the current Alaska fiscal system. As such, in late 2012, BP announced it is scaling back its heavy oil efforts and will stop the pilot program in 2013.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90162©2013 Pacific Section AAPG, SPE and SEPM Joint Technical Conference, Monterey, California, April 19-25, 2013