A case history of the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company's (GUPCO) first remotely controlled subsea completion is provided. The first completion was for well GS 373-2, a previously drilled and tested exploration well located in the south portion of the Gulf of Suez. Subsea technology was utilized to economically justify development of this one well marginal field which was discovered in 1978. Traditional methods proved to be too costly for development, therefore application of a low cost subsea tree was utilized to capture the resources.
In the Gulf of Suez, many fields have been discovered but have not been developed due to low reserves. These marginal projects can have a profound impact on the revenue and shareholder value if an economic method is used to exploit these opportunities. Platform installation was not feasible due to reserve size, hence the well has remained abandoned until recently. Capturing the experience of Amoco in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Dutch North Sea, Gupco was able to build a low cost subsea system which would allow for the economic development of the marginal fields discovered in the past.
This paper presents a summarized look at subsea completion technology. The cost comparison of traditional development methods will be made, given the local cost structure in Egypt. The application of this technology has some limitations and constraints which will be discussed in the paper. Furthermore the actual field installation of Egypt's first remotely controlled subsea tree will be summarized. Also included is a discussion on simple remote controls, and offshore installation operations.
As most of the major Gulf of Suez fields that were discovered in the 1960's and 1970's are fully developed and now mature, it becomes increasingly more difficult to replace assets produced each year. The challenge was to find economical methods to capture what was previously discovered but marginally attractive. Those marginally attractive opportunities were marginal during higher oil price periods. Hence, an even greater challenge is to find a way to develop those resources left behind at today's substantially lower product prices.