Breathing new life into a mature oil field is a challenge that has been facing national and private oil companies for almost as long as the oil industry has been in existence. Oil production from mature fields accounts for approximately 70% of the worldwide oil production. Unfortunately, more often than not, mature oil fields equate to high cost and low productivity, making mature fields unattractive when competing for resources with other options in a company's portfolio of investments.

The re-development project presented in this and its companion paper1  (SPE 104034) looked at the technical and business opportunities for two main re-development components. The first component aims to beat the natural production decline curve via the implementation of a massive infill drilling program; the second component aims to maintain production through the integration of Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) methodologies.

A multi-disciplinary team studied and recommended the implementation of a program to drill a massive number of infill wells in a portion of Block 10, operated by Petrobras Energia Peru S.A. in the Talara area of Peru, to improve recoveries in a column of over 2,500 ft of shaly sands, with absolute permeabilities not higher than 1 md and with average well spacing already in the order of 20 Acre. A second objective for the study team consisted of evaluating the technical feasibility for a massive waterflood project, including a preliminary design of the surface facilities necessary to collect, process and inject seawater. The third objective consisted of investigating the technical feasibility for miscible gas flooding into an equally tight reservoir, together with the facilities to collect and inject the gas. Both injection projects required consideration of the processing needs for the incremental oil, water and gas production. Traditional optimization technologies were also revisited, including the hydraulic fracturing of the infill wells to attain initial productivity gains of 25% with respect to that of current wells, but without impacting the completion cost.

Based on analytical and numerical analyses, it was found that a massive waterflood would extend the production plateau reached by infill drilling and produce additional reserves. The study also found that to be able to displace oil in the Mogollon formation it would be necessary to inject gas at pressures in excess of 3,000 psi. The approach and methodologies developed for this project can be used to give new life to mature oil provinces around the world.

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