This paper Is an introduction to the sub-surface aspects of the $1 billion Caroline sour gas condensate development. Technical aspects concerning reservoir geology and fluids, well performance and depletion strategy are reviewed.
The Caroline field contains 60 bcm (2.1 tcf) of liquid-rich gas containing 35% H2S. Production is from the high deliverability Swan Hills reservoir at a depth of 3800 m (12400 ft). The nature of the reserves and their proximity to rural population centers impacts the planning process.
The theme of the paper is that hydrocarbon development planning in the 1990's and beyond is constrained due to the legitimate concerns of the local and broader public. In the Caroline example, there was minimal well testing prior to start up as a result of these concerns. Still, a strong consultative effort resulted in an effective use of the data for planning purposes. These efforts determined an appropriate scope for the project which was started up on time and on budget. With limited production data available up front, Caroline is not unlike a major offshore project. The challenge for marketers, builders, operators and sub-surface technical specialists was to provide and execute a development plan and depletion strategy for the project that would meet the needs of both the owners and the affected parties.