Three producing fields, located offshore Sabah in northern Borneo are currently being jointly considered Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). An initial screening study conducted in 2009/2010, indicated that a successful implementation of Alkali Surfactant Polymer (ASP) flooding might result in significant improvement in the ultimate recovery from the field.

Due to a limited experience with ASP flooding in offshore environment, a joint Shell and PETRONAS Carigali team was tasked to explore the entire solution space for this opportunity. This led to a development of 4 anchor cases, which span the expected key development decisions of injection strategy, injection rates, composition of the chemical cocktail, type of the host structure and location (onshore/offshore). The intent was to develop an understanding the trade offs between the project decisions with an ultimate objective to defining a series of building blocks and staircase to demonstrate technical feasibility and economical viability. The anchor cases are organized around the injection rate as the injection rate was assumed to be the key cost driver for the topside facilities at the outset of the study.

In the course of development and analysis of four anchor cases, a number of technical challenges emerged related to the choice of the water treatment scheme, power generation strategy and mechanical handling of chemicals in powder form. The technical challenges identified will require innovative solutions in the technology domain to enable a viable solution to the ASP flooding in the offshore environment.

This article presents an overview of the Area Development Plan study and shares a list of improvement opportunities.

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