This case study describes the successful outcomes and learnings from a brownfield tie-back project in offshore Trinidad. The greater Angostura Asset consists of multiple Oligocene-age turbidite sandstone reservoirs with complex geology and compartmentalization. The Asset has produced oil since 2005 from thin oil rims overlaid by large gas caps. This has been supported by significant gas reinjection and constrained by gas coning. Commencement of gas sales added value but also increased gas cap blowdown in the oilfields. The Angostura Phase 3 project was conceptualized to enable gas production from an adjacent gas discovery and extend the overall productive life of the existing oil fields.
Key subsurface uncertainties and operational constraints were identified early in the project. Historically, drilling in the Angostura field has been challenging due to the complex geology and compartmentalization. Poor seismic data in the Phase 3 area added complexity to optimal well placement. Ensuring high deliverability was another critical project requirement. The main reservoir management challenge in the existing fields was optimizing both oil and gas sales while managing voidage and coning. Limited topside facilities and space constrained addition of new gas at flowing at higher pressures.
To address these challenges, a multi-disciplinary project team was formed to plan and execute the project. Material balance, detailed geological modeling and numerical simulation were used to understand the impact of key uncertainties on recovery. The integrated evaluation resulted in an optimized development plan with three subsea gas wells tied back to existing facilities. Production performance of existing wells helped highlight critical performance drivers for Phase 3 wells. Modified completion designs along with a flow back and stimulation program during completion helped to maximize productivity.
Phase 3 wells have performed at the high levels expected during project design and sanction. Detailed surveillance (including pressure transient analysis (PTA) and interference testing during completion, start-up and production phases) has continuously helped to optimize production. Oil production in the existing fields has also been improved by better balancing gas sales and injection. The project added significant value from the increased gas sales and oil production.
This paper discusses the planning, successful execution and impact on the overall value of the Angostura Asset from the Phase 3 project. Optimized completions along with an improved approach for evaluating stimulation options during completion (detailed near well-bore modelling, real-time PTA and simulation) enabled strong well performance. We highlight some of the critical factors for achieving success in brownfield tie-back projects including having (right from project inception): multi-disciplinary project teams, tight coordination with existing operations and a focus on key uncertainties and constraints. Building optionality and flexibility into development plans and being prepared for contingencies have been the other critical learnings from this project