The Jasmine Field is a mature stacked-sand oil field that has been on production since 2005. One of the biggest current challenges is to locate remaining oil accumulations. Seismic mapping, material balance and reservoir simulation studies provide pointers to promising locations, but can never guarantee accuracy. Pilot wells offer a means to appraise identified locations before committing to drilling horizontal wellbores.

A pilot well is often used in Mubadala Petroleum drilling campaigns as part of an overall strategy to extend the field's life by continuing to locate and tap remaining oil accumulations. Collaboration across subsurface teams leads to decisions on pilot well locations. In most cases the pilot well appraisal objectives will be to confirm the structural position, to identify fluid contacts or to assess depth uncertainty, especially in areas where there is no well penetration or in significantly updip locations. These appraisal objectives apply to shallower and deeper horizons as well as to the target reservoir itself, and in Jasmine there is a strong record of accomplishment of successfully locating remaining oil by means of such appraisal. It is critical therefore, that well planning is tailored so as to accommodate the appraisal objectives as well as the eventual production target.

Two case studies are presented, illustrating different approaches to using pilot wells prior to placing horizontal wellbores in Jasmine field. In the first case, the horizontal production wellbore was planned to develop an updip region of the target reservoir, to access remaining oil, with additional pilot well appraisal objectives in both shallower and deeper zones. The location for the new horizontal well was confirmed and this dual-role pilot/producer well not only succeeded in reducing depth uncertainty for the new horizontal wellbore, but also identified additional reserves in other reservoirs. In the second case an appraisal pilot well was used to investigate a downdip region of a depleted reservoir. Material balance assessment had indicated that the volume accessed by the updip producer was larger than suggested by the static model, which might have resulted in water encroachment from downdip, causing the appraisal location to water out. However, seismic imaging identified potential barriers between the updip and the proposed downdip appraisal location, which would have prevented water encroachment from downdip. The pilot appraisal well was required to distinguish between those two possibilities.

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