The economics of exploration and production (E&P) continue to encourage use of new methods to reduce costs. Slimhole technology is one such method which offers effective cost reduction by reducing; equipment size, tubular costs and environmental impact.

The technology is a proven alternative to conventional drilling operations. Since it is now technically feasible and economically viable to produce from smaller well bores. It has become a realistic alternative to the development of previously known uneconomic reserves. Also extensive application in exploration has validated the use of disposable slimhole wells to improve seismic data interpretation.

Currently the E&P industry faces the challenge of increasing production to meet growing energy needs. Many proven reserves remain unexploited due to unfavorable economics (e.g. small size, remote location). A reduced cost slimhole drilling plan can put these reserves to production. This paper outlines the application of slimhole technology to the development of such reserves which cannot be developed using conventional drilling. Cost reduction, which is heavily influenced by hole size, is a major factor prompting the application of slimhole technology to development of small reserves.

This paper provides economic comparison between slimhole technology and conventional methods of exploitation. It also outlines a strategy to identify and produce smaller reserves using slimhole as an effective technique for enhancing exploitation economics.

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