This paper presents the planning and development of a project in Samaria Neogeno field, which is a heavy oil field that is located 17 kilometers from Villahermosa, Mexico. The front-end loading (FEL) method was used to design the development plan of the Samaria Neogeno field and to complete the project. FEL is considered to be an international best practice. The Samaria Neogeno field is currently undergoing a period of substantial development, which has resulted in a potential production increase of 30,000 bbl/day. This project is a result of the collaborative efforts of PEMEX and Halliburton.
In general terms, the FEL method includes three stages: visualization, conceptualization, and design. The primary activities include the identification and characterization of the uncertainty variables, definition of decision variables and scenarios, and a stochastic simulation of each scenario. One scenario represents a specific exploitation plan. By using the stochastic simulation process, the degree of risk is quantified and measured by standard deviation; consequently, each scenario evaluated was associated with its level of risk. The consideration of the standard deviation parameter, in addition to the economic indicators, promotes better decision making.
The development of the Samaria Neogeno project has been through the three FEL stages, and the execution of the steam injection pilot project. In the visualization stage, multiple scenarios were evaluated; the higher value options were designed for cold production in the early years, followed by the incorporation of hot production in the short- and mid-term phases. In the conceptualization stage, the most valuable scenario was selected, which led to the development of a steam injection pilot project. The steam injection pilot project represented the largest contribution of information regarding the reservoir and response with steam injection. The average production per well increased from 240 to 1,170 bbl/day, and 30 to 40 barrels of oil was recovered for each ton of steam injected. After obtaining these results, a mass development plan was created, and this plan will be implemented during the current year.
The successful results at Samaria Neogeno field highlights the added value of the FEL method as an international best practice.