Ultradeepwater-Subsalt-Reservoir Characterization: Integrated Multiscenario Development Planning
- Dennis Denney (JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 74 - 76
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 56 since 2007
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This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 142280, "Ultradeepwater- Subsalt-Reservoir Characterization: An Integrated Multiscenario Approach for Development Planning," by Olivier Pippi, SPE, Statoil ASA (formerly with BP plc), Mike Mayall, Mike Chandler, SPE, Tim Dodd, Paul Reid, and Paul Taylor, BP plc, prepared for the 2011 SPE Europec/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 23-26 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
Subsea development of clustered deepwater subsalt fields is challenging, technically and economically. With the high cost of appraisal wells, the industry tends to rely on seismic technology, pushing the limits of imaging and characterizing the reservoir by use of seismic attributes. A fully integrated approach that uses all available data should be followed to describe the uncertainty fully and to make an optimized business decision. This work shows a systematic method to integrate information available from a limited data set to validate the description of the field and to perform a full risk and uncertainty analysis supporting the field-development strategy.
Many exploration plays in deepwater basins around the world involve structural closures associated with stratigraphic-trapping elements that are above or against salt diapirs or canopies. Below these often-large salt bodies, seismic imaging can be impaired significantly, which makes the crest of the structure particularly complicated to map. Updip volumes that are close to the salt can be difficult to describe with confidence, yielding large uncertainty about hydrocarbon volumes in place.
Reservoir faulting induced by the movement of the salt over geological time introduces significant structural complexity. This complexity adds to common stratigraphic and depositional complexity of deepwater reservoirs deposited in turbidite slope settings. Deepwater turbidite reservoirs can be large erosional channels (typically 1 to 3 km wide and 50 to 200 m thick) or can be sheet-like sands (typically 1 to 5 km wide and 5 to 30 m thick) with various degrees of channel amalgamation. Each type of reservoir poses specific development challenges in terms of continuity and connectivity.
Multiscenario Risk and Uncertainty Analysis
Given the structural complexity of the field, the wide range of oil-in-place estimates results in making risk and uncertainty analysis difficult to address at the same time. A project close to sanction would have a firmer resources-in-place definition before making a decision. Alternatively, the decision would have flexibility to be phased in over a certain time as new production data become available.
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