Technology Update: Haradh III: A Milestone for Smart Fields
- N.G. Saleri (Saudi Aramco Reservoir Management Head) | A.O. Al-Kaabi (Haradh Reservoir Management Supervisor) | A.S. Muallem (Udhaliyah Reservoir Management)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 28 - 32
- 2006. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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The Haradh III project came on stream in February 2006, adding 300,000 B/D of Arabian light crude production capacity to Ghawar, the world’s largest oil field. The project’s main significance, however, derives from the fact that it sets a milestone for smart technologies at a scale and complexity unprecedented for Saudi Aramco and, arguably, for the industry. Haradh III might be regarded as the entry point to a new era in upstream projects and specifically into the domain of real-time reservoir management. The project spanned a period of 21 months. It entailed construction of a grassroots surface-facility network, integrated with a complex subsurface development program. Maximum-reservoir-contact (MRC) wells, smart completions, geosteering, and i-field features provided the four main technology components. Their efficient integration was the key to the project’s success.
Haradh constitutes the southernmost portion of the Ghawar complex and covers an area 75 km long and 26 km wide at its widest section (Fig. 1). The field consists of three subsegments of approximately equivalent reserves, with an aggregate oil initially in place of 38 billion STB. Initial production from Haradh I occurred in May 1996, followed up by Haradh II and Haradh III in April 2003 and February 2006, respectively. The field developments, occurring over a span of a decade, offer a unique opportunity in gauging the impact of technologies, the main thrust of this article. Haradh I was developed exclusively with vertical wells, whereas horizontal completions provided the primary configuration for producers/injectors in Haradh II. Haradh III, the main focus here, was developed by relying mainly on smart MRC completions within an i-field framework (Fig. 2). The total Haradh production capacity is 900,000 B/D, with equal contributions from the three respective subsegments I, II, and III.
Arab-D, the producing horizon, belongs to the lower member of the Arab formation of the Jurassic period. It is characterized by a complex sequence of anhydrite and limestone events, with varying degrees of “‘dolomitization’.” Faults, fractures, and fracture swarms were known to be part of the regional geology and attracted considerable attention in the project planning, given their propensity for creating water-encroachment problems.
Table 1 presents the key project statistics for Haradh III. It entailed a production target of 300,000 B/D, using 32 multilateral wells. A peripheral water-injection program (with an ultimate capacity of 560,000 BWPD) preceded the crude production by 4 months as part of the planned pressure-maintenance program.
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