Saudi Aramco is actively exploring and appraising unconventional liquid rich and dry gas resources. Despite all the challenges in making unconventional plays productive and economical, Saudi Aramco has benefited from North American operators experiences, as well as the availability of advanced technologies in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation. Today, national and international oil companies around the world are utilizing this "North American Experience" to identify their very own unconventional oil and gas plays. Being able to apply the lessons learned from the North American shale plays; has provided new players with an advantage. They can minimize their mistakes, while maximizing efficiency to drive the success of these emerging plays. Being home to the largest onshore and offshore oil fields in the world, it comes as no surprise that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has tremendous potential for unconventional hydrocarbon accumulations. Over the past few years, Saudi Aramco has been assessing multiple unconventional plays across the Kingdom. One Jurassic carbonate source rock play shows excellent reservoir quality and production data. Numerous vertical and lateral wells were drilled and stimulated in the liquid-rich Tuwaiq Mountain Formation. With all wells flowing hydrocarbons to surface, the program is firmly progressing towards field development. This paper will discuss the details of this unconventional journey thus far, and will shed light on some of the most useful lessons learned, from around the world, which helped transform the unconventional program from an idea to a reality. A number of key elements are needed to ensure the success of any emerging unconventional play around the world. These elements, as well as the company's four-phase de-risking strategy, will be discussed in detail. The de-risking strategy adopted by the company starts with exploration, then appraisal, pilot, and finally the development phase. Fulfilling the objective of these four phases is vital to the success of the play. The workflows and examples will be shared to provide the necessary insights and considerations crucial to developing unconventional plays, in underexplored basins with minimal infrastructure.
Saudi Arabia’s Unconventional Program in the Jafurah Basin: Transforming an Idea to Reality With the Jurassic Tuwaiq Mountain Formation
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Almubarak, Ahmed, Hakami, Ahmed, Leyva, Ivan, and Clay Kurison. "Saudi Arabia’s Unconventional Program in the Jafurah Basin: Transforming an Idea to Reality With the Jurassic Tuwaiq Mountain Formation" Paper presented at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, July 2017.
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