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Perdido: A Frontier Paleogene Development - 15 Years Post-Discovery


Discovered in 2002, the Perdido spar represents a frontier Gulf of Mexico development in the Alaminos Canyon six miles from the U.S. and Mexico border in approximately 8000ft of water. The Perdido fold belt traps are a series of salt detached and cored anticlines that extend from Alaminos Canyon into Mexican Waters. The Perdido host receives production from Great White, Silvertip and Tobago fields. Most production comes from the Lower Eocene age, Upper Wilcox WM12 sand at Great White. The Great White field is located along a northeast – southwest trending, compressional fold–thrust structure resulting in a complexly faulted, asymmetric anticline. In contrast to the central Gulf of Mexico, the Plio-Pleistocene and Miocene sections at Perdido are very thin, with the productive and prospective reservoirs occurring in the older Oligocene, Eocene, and Paleocene sections. There are three, main pay-bearing reservoirs, the Oligocene Frio, Eocene WM12, and Paleocene WM50. The “WM” designation is short for “Wilcox-Midway” time equivalents onshore. The WM12 interval is the “anchor” reservoir and most active component of the Great White development program. The WM12 was seen as heavily faulted, carrying a high risk of compartmentalization, which posed a significant risk to the economic viability of the project and the success of enhanced recovery from the water flood. Five years of production has revealed better connectivity, a tilted oil-water contact, and waterflood performance insights. Development success has been heavily dependent on several cross-discipline integrated technologies: 4-D seismic (2012, 2013, 2016) for waterflood management, PMTs (pressure monitoring transducers) for subsidence monitoring, MPD (managed pressure drilling) to mitigate narrow drilling margin, and caisson ESPs for subsea boosting. History matched static models fully utilize all inputs to determine future development drilling, while maintaining perspective on the remaining subsurface uncertainties. Now, five years after first oil, these technologies have matured, and each contributes to a successful ultra-deep water development project.