As the first hydrocarbon development in Madagascar, the Tsimiroro field is an onshore heavy oil asset (mean resource nearing 3.5 billion barrels @14°API) located inland from the western coast covering approximately 900 square kilometers. The project is in early assessment and resource identification phase nearing steam flood pilot implementation. Adequate interpretation and treatment of existing subsurface data is crucial to determining the optimal path to maximum field value. Beyond resource, there are substantial variables related to above-ground risk and operational decisions including processing, transportation, and marketing. While important for any project, these aspects become critical for this, the first commercial project in a non-oil producing country with minimal infrastructure.
Subsurface and operational risks, as well as strategic project objectives/decisions were approached using industry leading probabilistic methods, capable of testing pathways through highly complex situations. The evaluation included an integrated approach to deal with the full value-chain of the steam flood project. This process, rooted in statistics and decision theory, helps determine significant value drivers and illuminates uncertainty reduction opportunities. It identifies and prioritizes risk mitigation measures leading to a better expected asset value.
A pilot program was re-designed to focus on critical learnings and will help de-risk many of the important project variables at a relatively low cost - an insight which could not be gleaned from a traditional deterministic analysis. A probabilistic evaluation of the resources in place indicated that further delineation of the field via drilling and Electrical Resistance Tomography would resolve significant subsurface uncertainty. Further, investigation of export transportation methods, alternatives for oil upgrade, and commercial alternatives for oil disposition were evaluated in detail to reveal which options were viable to pursue, and which had low priority for further investigation.