AAPG/SPE Africa Energy and Technology Conference

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Successful Application of Clusterization Development Strategy for Small and Scattered Fields in West Africa


This paper demonstrates an innovative clusterization approach to define development strategy for small and scattered fields in T Basin, which is located in landlocked central Africa. As a rifted basin, T basin is around 250 km long and 80 km wide under sub-Saharan desert environment. The operator started exploration in 2008 and had discovered over 40 oil fields scattered over the whole basin but with limited size. 30 small oilfields occupy only 20% of total OOIP. Therefore the discovered fields in T basin belong to small and scattered fields. To realize fast track development in landlocked desert and achieve economic robustness meanwhile is the huge challenge for the operator. Clusterization development strategy had been put forward to realize integrated asset development. Clusterization is to define several oil field clusters based on the criteria of adjacency, reservoir characteristics etc. Each oil field cluster should have one and/or two relatively bigger oil field as the central fields. Satellite fields are grouped into adjacent central fields thus forming oil field clusters. The whole basin development optimization could be carried out on a two-tier level: 1) for the intra cluster level, central fields will be commissioned first and satellite fields could be ranked to substitute production plateau, satellite fields facilities could be skid-mounted and shared among satellite fields to reduce Capx. 2) for the oilfield cluster level, clusters could be ranked according to criteria of OOIP scale, productivity projection and commissioning complexity. Relatively concentrated oilfield clusters could be prioritized to arrive at long term production projection. The remaining clusters could serve as plateau maintenance purpose afterwards. Five oilfield clusters had been defined under the guidance of clusterization strategy. Three oilfield clusters had been recommended for Phase I production after optimization on the inter-cluster and intra-cluster level. 60 KBOPD of productivity with longer plateau is expected from clusterization development with convincing economical parameters, which fully satisfy the requirement of long distance pipeline. This paper had proposed an innovative clusterization approach to define development strategy for small and scattered oilfields in a landlocked basin. The two-tier optimization process inherent in the clusterization approach could be of strong reference value to similar marginal blocks and basins.