In early 2006 Chevron International E&P drilled and completed the first multilateral well in the Gulf of Thailand. Routine development drilling in the Kaphong Field of the Pattani Basin unexpectedly discovered two production horizons that possessed reservoir characteristics and sufficient oil reserves to make each a viable horizontal well candidate. At the time, however, only a single drilling slot was available on the platform; thus, dictating that only one well bore could be drilled to tap both reservoirs. Further complicating the problem was the fact that the drilling rig which discovered the horizons would be moving to a new platform a short 5 weeks after it was understood by reservoir engineers, geologists and geophysicists that multiple horizontal well candidates existed.

This paper chronicles the rapid processes that took place to evaluate, plan and execute the first multilateral well in the Gulf of Thailand. More importantly, though, this paper captures the unintended consequences (both good and bad) that came with executing this project so quickly. This includes an analysis of how decision making, project planning and ultimate execution where affected by the short time window available. From this we discuss lessons learned that may be universally applicable when rapidly expanding the use of technology in a remote region of the world (regardless of how small that expansion is).

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