Abstract

Chevron Canada Resources (CCR) was still known as Standard Oil of California (SOCAL) when it entered the Canadian oil patch with the drilling of Princess - CPR #1 in October, 1939. In the nearly sixty years that have past since this momentous event in Chevron's history the company's focus has turned away from the Princess field as exciting discoveries were made throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The Princess Field became an obscure little field in S.E. Alberta with its former glory long since past.

In the summer of 1994 Chevron's attention was once again focused on the Princess Field with the drilling of its first horizontal well into the Sunburst reservoir. Preliminary geological and reservoir work indicated there was significant potential for additional reserve recovery in the field through the application of horizontal technology. To date over 21 horizontal wells have been drilled and completed in the Princess field. Significant cost reductions in the drilling and completing of these wells resulted from a team based decision making process. Results to date have exceeded expectations with initial production results encouraging enough to allow the Princess Team to embark upon an ambitious future development plan for the field. The encouraging results to date with the application of horizontal wells promise to help reinstate the Princess field to its former stature within the annals of Chevron's history in Canada.

Introduction

Standard Oil Of California (SOCAL) entered the Canadian oil patch in October, 1939 with the drilling of Princess - CPR #1 13-22-20-12 W4M located approximately 130 miles east of Calgary, Alberta. This well established both the Princess Field and SOCAL as a permanent fixture in Canadian oil and gas exploration and production.

SOCAL subsequently became Chevron Canada Resources (CCR), an operating company of the multinational Chevron Corporation. The Princess Field became a major producer of Devonian aged Nisku gas and Cretaceous aged - Lower Mannville (historically known as Sunburst) oil and gas. Vertical oil wells into the Sunburst formation were drilled in the early 1970's with limited success due to poor inflow. In total over 46 vertical wells were drilled in the Princess Field over the past fifty years targeting these two zones. However by 1992 the Princess field had became an obscure property and a strong divestiture candidate.

In an attempt to quantify the potential divestiture value of the Princess Field to Chevron, geological modeling and reservoir simulation work was undertaken. The potential for horizontal wells into the Sunburst reservoir to target oil was modeled and simulation runs undertaken by Chevron Petroleum Technology Company (CPTC) in La Habra, California. The simulations indicated there was significant potential for incremental reserves recovery in the Princess Field.

Based on the encouraging simulation results, promising economics, and the success of other operators drilling horizontal wells throughout S.E. Alberta, Chevron drilled their first pilot horizontal well into the Sunburst reservoir at 102/15-14-20-12 W4M in June, 1994.

Location

The Princess Field is located 130 miles east of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The field is situated on the edge of the world famous Dinosaur Provincial Park and covers an area of over 35 square miles. Its proximity to the park requires special precautions be taken during drilling, completion and production operations to safeguard the surrounding areas from any detrimental environmental impact.

Production History

The Princess Field discovery well at 13-22-20-12 W4M encountered commercial quantities of gas pay in the Nisku formation.

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