The development of the vast viscous oil resources of Kuwait is considered a very important strategic goal of the country. The first phase of development plans is under implementation to meet a target production of 60 M bopd by a combination of cold flow and cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) followed by steamflood to have optimum recovery from this resource. The thermal development plan for the viscous oil resources, targeting high recovery factor from this resource, is considered to be the first EOR project in Kuwait. The thermal project starts with Cyclic Steam Stimulation followed by steamflood. To optimize the process and maximizing recovery, three pilots have been planned for evaluation of these technologies in this field. A detailed plan was developed to ensure quality surveillance information is obtained to support this pilot performance interpretation. This present paper summarizes the salient features of that surveillance plan and how the planned data can be interpreted, to obtain maximum value from the pilots.

First the impact of known reservoir uncertainty parameters was evaluated through simulation studies and field testings, to evaluate their potential to become major risk parameters for the project. A commercial uncertainty analysis software to identify risk factors was used for this study. A comprehensive surveillance plan for evaluation of the potential risk parameters in the pilots was then firmed up, based on available technologies in the industry.

The study identifies that an integrated approach is needed involving the completion plan, surveillance options and project goals to optimize learning from the pilots. A realistic surveillance plan, which caters to the different completion plans being evaluated in the pilots, was firmed up. The study also recommends frequency and resolution needed in the surveillance data, for meaningful interpretation of results.

A comprehensive surveillance plan in the pilots is considered a key success factor in EOR projects. With increasing demand for fossil fuels in future, evaluation of EOR technologies through pilots would continue to remain a desired option, to reduce project cost and risk. The risk assessment approach elaborated in this study is expected to have relevance in similar EOR projects all over the globe.

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