In September 2003, the Syrian Petroleum Company, PetroCanada and Syria Shell finalised a Production Sharing Contract resolving a long-standing dispute and allowing the pursuit of Near Field Potential (aka. Deep & Lateral) in the 35 Development License Areas, operated by Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC). The PSC included a commitment to drill 10 appraisal wells, of which one has to reach 5km tvdss.

Figure 1 location of Euphrates Graben

For some 10 years, no work had been done on maturing the Near Field potential of AFPC's fields. The expectation of the remaining potential, based on limited study only, ranged from less than 50 million bbl to more than 250 million bbl reserves.

AFPC was tasked with executing the Deep and Lateral activities on behalf of the three Shareholders, and the following targets were set:

  • Contribute some 8kb/d year average to AFPC's production to partly offset declining production from the more mature assets;

  • Identify and mature new reserves for AFPC's resource base;

  • Provide an assessment of the remaining acreage potential, including the deep, undrilled reservoirs.

In order to achieve these objectives in the fragmented near-field acreage, a Cluster Approach was adopted with the aim to quickly review the potential in the "established Cretaceous and Triassic play" and delr up to eight drillable prospects/opportunities in 2004.

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