The 1st AAPG/EAGE PNG Geosciences Conference, PNG’s Oil and Gas Industry:
Maturing Through Exploration and Production

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Oil Producing Fields – Optimising Management and Minimising Decline


Papua New Guinea is rich in oil and gas reserves with a high percentage remaining in ‘brownfields’. One of the major challenges in operating in brownfields is maintaining and/or minimising the decline in oil and gas production rates. Operating companies seek to extend the economic producing life of the fields using cost-effective and low-risk technologies. In this paper, techniques to optimise production that have helped to arrest production decline are discussed. A field case study is presented where application of such techniques has led to improved production optimisation. Infill drilling always adds value and helps to maintain the production plateau and delay the decline. However, well and reservoir management is more economic and key to arresting the production decline of the brownfields. Well and reservoir management comes with its challenges such as: • Geological complexity • The composition of the fluids produced, • Increasing water cut, increasing gas/oil ratios (GORs) • Liquid loading issues • Increase in skin (damage) • Hydrate formation • Sand production issue, and • Gas cap depletion/pressure depletion Every oil field is unique. The success of well and reservoir management lies in a field-specific, robust programme that considers the challenges the field may be facing. Papua New Guinea oil fields have high potential reservoirs and are very much dependent on gas/water handling capacity restrictions. This requires close management of high GOR wells. The benefits of the following techniques are discussed in detail and the increments from the implementation of such techniques are highlighted; • Voidage/pressure management by gas injection • Huff and puff • Artificial lift installations to combat the liquid loading issues • Sand production management • Coil tubing interventions • Stimulation • Zonal management, and • Downhole choke installation to control surface temperature limitations. Furthermore, the pressure monitoring programs and accurate and frequent well testing programmes, are vital for the success of a field production optimisation plan. This paper highlights the results of implementing various well and reservoir management strategies in combination with the appropriate technologies.