Abstract

Early applications of technology systems relevant in the past in simple wells have become inadequate or suboptimal for conducting field-wide operations for more complex wells, especially in a regime of rising development costs. For field developments requiring extended reach wells, such as Saudi Aramco's Manifa project, distinctive new technologies need to materialize, improve, and be rapidly diffused to execute comprehensive plans and make significantly higher returns from capital technology spending in the field. Coiled tubing (CT) reach, multilateral access, effective stimulation treatments, and production or injection profiling remain challenges for engineers in ultra-deep wells. Discrete technology solutions adequate in the past are no longer sufficient for creating value.

The scope of this paper is to present the evolution of technology systems over a timeline in rigless stimulation and logging intervention activities for achieving field development outcomes. Field examples are provided to illustrate how these technologies have evolved to ensure strategy-to-technology alignment of numerous separate well intervention solutions for successfully developing a giant carbonate oil field in readiness for a major production milestone.

As a result of continuous inclusion of technology-based exercises at a project level, rigless activities have been completed over 60% faster than when well intervention campaigns started nearly five years ago. Technology is continuously advancing and leading to newer, unprecedented, and cost-efficient ways to deliver value. The gains from technology evolution include challenging engineers to conceive of future possibilities, such as the introduction of more robust tools that exceed the performance of past or current systems. The evolution of the change cycle challenges engineers to adapt, consolidate gains, and continue the evolution process.

Introduction

The Manifa field in Saudi Arabia was discovered in 1957 and its dimensions were around 18 km in width and 45 km in length. Sustained production started in 1964 with all the initial wells in Manifa as offshore wells. By 1977, some 17 wells had been drilled mostly offshore. Because of low demand the field was mothballed in 1984. In 2006, a grassroots field redevelopment plan commenced while drilling and active development began with major capital spending on both relative shallow offshore waters and onshore areas. Figure No.1a is a snapshot of some technological achievements in the Manifa field. To adequately cover operations in the field, 27 manmade islands were developed and connected by a causeway (Arukhe, et al, 2013).

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