Platform placement and sizing are critical steps for enabling subsequent operations such as well construction, logistics, and facilities installation to be performed efficiently and safely. This paper introduces the most economical yet efficient solution for a PETRONAS enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project in which 25 wells were to be drilled in Baronia field, offshore of Sarawak, Malaysia. Collaborative teamwork from drilling, reservoir, facility, geology, and production groups was required to develop the best solutions to minimize construction work, simplify well trajectories, and utilize all available resources to help minimize the overall budget.

In addition, this paper evaluates the drillability of each well based on available drilling technologies and rig capabilities in the market.

During the initial design stage, all 25 wells were planned to be drilled from two new wellhead platforms (WHP) to intercept all geological targets. Major well collision problems were encountered against adjacent wells in the congested Baronia field; however, after several iterations of surface nudging and slots designation, all wells were drillable, with a total footage of 227,527.1 ft drilled.

The first iteration was performed by placing one new single WHP at an optimized location and using spare slots and sidetracking from an existing platform. This optimized design reduced/saved 39,868.61 ft compared to the initial stage and eliminated the requirement for another new platform. The second iteration was performed by shifting the new WHP 300 ft closer to the production platform to enable bridge linking and help reduce construction work on the pipelines. The total footage to be drilled from this location was reduced again by 3,622.63 ft. Finally, the setup was further optimized by equipping the new platform with splitter wells, which reduced the number of conductor pipes required without decreasing the number of wells to be drilled.

Overall, the platform placement and sizing optimizations saved millions of dollars in the planning stage by eliminating one platform, decreasing drilling footage, minimizing construction work, and helping reduce health, safety, and environment risks.

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