Conventionally discovery to development of a heavy oil reservoir takes very long (Minimum 10-15years). However, significant volatility in the oil prices have required more collaborative workflows and strategies from operators and service companies to optimize cost and maximize efficiency and innovation. We present here a joint service integrated model between an NOC and a service company which was used in the fast track development of an unconventional heavy oil reservoir and resulted in discovery to production in record time.

A conceptual field development plan was put in place for fast track development of the Lower Fars reservoir in the Umm Niqqa field after drilling and testing 26 exploration wells. The plan consisted of drilling and completing over 80 wells in conjunction with the construction and commissioning of an early production facility (EPF) to handle the sour heavy crude. Given the brief time and the unconventional nature of the reservoir, significant challenges were faced during the execution phase. To address the challenges, an integrated workflow was put in place combining multiple disciplines. The entire project required seamless integration between drilling, characterization, production and surface facility teams for flawless execution. The collaboration resulted in successfully drilling and completing all planned wells in less than 1 year.

This paper describes the tasks performed during the project for successful execution. It was initiated by a robust assessment of the discovery in terms of OIIP and type of hydrocarbon. It further describes the construction of a fit for purpose field development plan. During the execution phase we explain the challenges faced while drilling deviated wells in soft unconsolidated reservoirs with extremely shallow kick off points. The challenges in logging and evaluating deviated wells to optimize completion strategy are also described. The optimization of testing, completions and artificial lift workflows played a significant role is assessing the dynamic behavior of these reservoirs. The workflows in conjunction with continuous production monitoring and workover planning allowed the minimization of non-productive time (NPT). We further highlight the surface facility designed for such heavy sour crude and the recommendation for future development.

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