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SPE 64714

Optimising the Development of Blake Field under Tough Economic and Environmental
Conditions
K. E. Du*, S. Pai, J. Brown, R. M. Moore and M. Simmons, BG International * SPE Member

Copyright 2000, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.


This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE International Oil and Gas Conference
and Exhibition in China held in Beijing, China, 710 November 2000.
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Abstract
This paper summarises the studies performed during the
optimisation of the Blake Field Development (UK) in the low
oil price environment prevailing in 1999 and concurrent with
the introduction of new tighter environmental regulations
aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouses gases in the
UK industry. It describes the technical work carried out up to
the sanction of the project. The paper focuses on the principles
and assumptions that determined the field development plan
prior to the development drilling. The following aspects are
addressed in the paper: 1) utilisation of existing infrastructure
to economically develop marginal fields, 2) use of reservoir
modelling techniques to optimise well placements, completion
strategies and topside capacities, 3) practical means of
managing reservoir uncertainties/risks during the development
drilling and 4) application of updated reservoir management
practices, with particular emphasis on the management of gas
and water coning and on the development of this high
permeability reservoir coincident with a thin column of fully
saturated oil.
Introduction Field Description
The Blake field is located in Blocks 13/24 and 13/29 of the
United Kingdom Sector of the North Sea, approximately 120
km NNE of Aberdeen. It was discovered in April 1997 by well
13/24b-3 and appraised in the subsequent two years by four
more wells. It is located in 100m of water and the reservoir is
at an average depth of 1500m below the seabed. The Blake oil
is fully saturated with a gravity of 30.3o API and an oil
viscosity of 2.2 cp at reservoir condition. The mean case
initially in place hydrocarbon volumes was estimated at 130

millions STbbls of oil and 20 Bcf of gas, prior to the


development drilling.
Figure 1 illustrates the Blake formation. The reservoir is
the Lower Cretaceous Captain C Sandstone Unit, which is a
massive thick linear turbidite channel, elongate in NW-SE
direction. The majority of the oil reserves are in this high
quality Channel Area but there are also volumes in the
variable quality over-bank facies. Currently the development
is centred on the exploitation of the Channel Area only.
Figure 2 depicts the schematic depositional model for
Captain Sandstone. The channel has an erosional base and a
channel fill of massive homogeneous sandstone. It is about
100m thick and 1.5 km wide and is of predominantly medium
to coarse sandstone, poorly to moderately sorted, with rare
detrital clay and low cement content. The net-to-gross average
is 98% in the three channel wells with an average porosity of
28%. The channel permeabilities range from 1500 to
2500mD and the channel reservoir exhibits a trend of
decreasing porosity and permeability from top to base that
reflects a primary depositional process (mainly grain size
changes a fining upwards trend).
The net oil zone thickness is approximately 30m. The main
gas cap is located in the SE, about 18 bcf with several very
small gas caps in the NW, around 2 bcf in total.
Development Concept Screening
Reservoir Considerations: Since the reservoir is fully
saturated, the main consideration was that pressure be
maintained from the start of production. Gas re-injection was
rejected due to the small size of the gas caps. However, water
injection provides the required pressure support and optimal
oil recovery occurs when treated and filtered seawater is
injected into the reservoir at either end of the channel.
The field development plan comprises six horizontal
producers in crestal locations and two water injectors at either
end of the field (Figure 3). The producers are designed with
an average horizontal length of 750m up to a maximum length
of 800m. The long horizontal sections are intended to increase
well productivity, reduce drawdown and hence delay gas and
water coning. The production wells will be drilled from a
single drill centre. The injectors are deviated wells and will be
drilled at some distance away from the drill centre and tied
back to the central manifold, which is to delay the

K. E. DU, S. PAI, J. BROWN, R. M. MOORE, AND M. SIMMONS

breakthrough of injected seawater as laboratory tests indicate


that hard scaling will occur downhole when seawater mixes
with the formation water.
Oil Price Considerations: Economically recoverable reserves
are dependent upon several factors, the most important being
initial capex, early oil rate, oil price and production operating
costs. Figure 4 shows that the period of project screening
coincided with the low oil price environment in 1999. Under
these constraints, the installation of either a fixed structure or a
stand-alone production, storage and offtake facility (FPSO)
was ruled out for this economically marginal field. Rigorous
economic evaluations demonstrated that the optimum way to
develop the Blake Field was through a sub-sea manifold
tieback to an existing FPSO located over the Talisman
operated Ross Field, some 10 km distant (Figure 5).
Achieving project sanction of the proposed scheme was
enabled by some rapid and astute asset rationalisation that
succeeded in achieving partner alignment with both the Ross
and Blake partner groups. This enabled Talisman to be in a
position to support and co-operate fully with the Ross tieback
development option, to the benefit of both the Ross and Blake
fields.
The Ross Field came on stream in 1999 and has similar
recoverable reserves to the Blake Field. The main driver for
selecting this development scheme was to reduce capital and
operating costs by sharing facilities. As a consequence of
sharing the facilities, the production life of both fields will be
prolonged. This will lead to an increase in ultimate recovery
because the abandonment of the field will occur only when the
combined production from the two fields is no longer
sufficient to cover the total operating costs. Furthermore, the
option of a remote tieback to an existing FPSO development
meant that the opportunity had to be grasped quickly so the
development of the field had to be fast-tracked. This
necessitated the conclusion of commercial and considerable
technical issues over a very short time frame and government
approval was received approximately nine months after route
selection.
Environmental Considerations - Gas Production Profile:
Within the last few years a number of developments in
environmental regulations have converged and now require
the flaring of associated gas to be kept to a practicable
minimum. In 1998 the UK Government introduced the
Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of
Environmental Effects) Regulations for offshore operations.
These regulations formally introduced an Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA), with its associated requirements for
public consultation, into the project approval process in the
UK. The Blake field was one of the first fields required to
submit an environmental statement for public consultation
(Reference 3). In addition, in view of commitments made by
the UK Government to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,
increasing attention is being paid to gas flaring as a source of
such gases. BG International and its partners are totally
supportive of these new regulations and were already firmly

SPE 64714

committed to the selection of a development option that


minimised the impact on the environment.
As previously stated, the Blake reservoir has a thin oil
column. For economic reasons, actual well production rates
will have to exceed the critical rate for gas coning. Thus, there
is a potential risk of gas coning. Considerable attention was
paid during project design to identifying the likely gas
production profile and to incorporating appropriate control
measures to avoid gas flaring.
No suitable formation was found for gas disposal.
Therefore associated solution gas and coning gas produced
with the oil, with the exception of fuel and lift gas, will be
compressed for export via the existing Frigg gas pipeline.
However, the combined volume of produced gas and lift gas
would be constrained by the topside gas compression capacity.
BG International and its partners committed to install as much
gas compression capacity as was economically possible so that
gas flaring would not occur under normal reservoir operating
conditions as predicted by the base case model.
Figure 6 illustrates the base forecast gas production
profile, which comprises both the lift gas and the compressed
gas, in comparison to the maximum compression capacity
allocated to the Blake Field through the FPSO facilities. A fine
grid simulation model was required to accurately define these
gas profiles. The reservoir simulation studies were carried out
to understand the mechanism for gas coning and included
numerous sensitivity runs to investigate the possible impact of
well stand-off, the effects of varying production/injection rates
and well design (length, orientation and spacing). In parallel
with the activities of the Operator, the UK government
undertook a detailed technical audit of the gas profile and
potential for flaring as part of the project approval process.
Topside Capacity Modifications: As the field is to be
developed through a subsea tie back to an existing facility,
there were limitations associated with the processing
capability of the host FPSO. The Blake production profile and
gas lift requirements are based upon a target flowing wellhead
pressure of 700 psia throughout the field life (to guarantee
flow assurance). The other topside capacity requirements for
maximum oil rate, gross liquids, gas compression and water
injection were optimised through full field reservoir
simulations. Based on these optimised topside requirements,
the Ross FPSO will be modified to accommodate both the
Ross and the Blake production profiles.
Sub-surface down-hole separation with multiphase pumping
was considered but no suitable formation was identified for
disposal of the separated water. Subsea separation and
pressure booster were also reviewed but ruled out on the
economic grounds.
Reservoir Simulation Model Construction
Inputs to the reservoir simulation model were based on the
results of five exploration and appraisal wells and a
comprehensive data-gathering programme.

SPE 64714

OPTIMISING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLAKE FIELD UNDER TOUGH ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENT CONDITIONS

Special Core Analysis (SCAL) Data: A large amount of


SCAL experimental studies were carried out to ensure the
accurate modelling of the thin oil reservoir in the Blake Field,
particularly the dynamic behaviour of the gas cap and aquifer.
The SCAL experiments were performed on a total of 15 core
plugs from wells 13/24a-4 and 13/24a-6 which were selected
as being representative of the entire reservoir interval.
A separate set of samples some cut as close to the relative
permeability plugs as possible, were used in the Amott-Harvey
wettability tests. These tests indicate that the residual oil,
transition and lower oil zones have a water-wet tendency,
whereas the upper oil leg displays an intermediate to slightly
weak water-wet characteristic.
The full relative permeability curves were obtained from
six core plugs using the steady-state displacement technique
with in-situ X-ray saturation monitoring. In addition, the endpoint water relative permeability (krw) and residual oil
saturation (Sor) were obtained from nine fresh-state samples
using the centrifuge technique. The SCAL results indicate an
average Sor of 0.18 and an end-point krw of 0.2. Figure 7
shows the water-oil relative permeability curves used in the
model, including the fractional flow curve, fw. The history
match of the 13/24a-6 extended well test confirmed the
laboratory measured end-point krw and a value as low as 0.15
was needed to match the well test data.
Routine Core Analysis (RCAL) and Well Test Data: The
RCAL experiments included the measurement of porosity and
permeability values under different confining pressures. Over
600 core plugs were cut and analysed from the four appraisal
wells. Four wells were tested and included an extended well
test on well 13/24a-6 which is described below. Well test and
core-derived permeabilities are in good agreement. Average
productivity index from the four vertical well tests was
estimated to be over 100 bpd/psi, proving the high
productivity nature of the reservoir.
Well 13/24a-6 Extended Well Test: The objective of the well
13/24a-6 test was to establish the water-coning behaviour and
to verify the laboratory-measured krw. The perforated interval
was only 5 m in total and located 5 m above the OWC. The
well was flowed for six days at high flow rates. A time lapse
PDK survey was performed at regular intervals to monitor the
water saturation changes during the test period. The results
suggest that no significant change was seen in the water
saturation profile, even at the highest flow rates. Only a trace
amount of water was produced in the last two days of flow, in
the form of weak emulsion. The well test permeability
estimated from both analytical analysis and a rigorous single
well numerical simulation (Ref. 4) confirmed the core
permeabilities and the measured krw.
Full-Field Simulation Model Construction: A finely gridded
simulation model was required to accurately model the coning
behaviour and, in particular, to predict the gas production
profile. The simulation grid has a dimension of 94 x 42 x 22
with 31050 active cells (Figure 8 is a cross section along the

channel). The main area of the reservoir has a uniform cell


dimension of 100 m x 100m. A 3 x 3 areally local grid
refinement (LGR) was also applied around producers to more
accurately model the behaviour of horizontal wells.
There is no apparent geological layering as the reservoir is
a massive thick homogeneous sandstone. The 22 layers in the
simulation model were used to provide a high degree of
vertical resolution for the modelling of coning behaviour. The
average layer thickness across the oil zone ranges from 5 to 10
ft (1.7 to 3m). A finer LGR in the vertical direction was also
used in some of numerical simulation runs but it was evident
that the layering scheme provided adequate resolution. For
example, further refinement of the layering scheme has a
minimal affect on the water or gas breakthrough times.
Each simulation layer was assigned a permeability value
estimated from the geometric averaging of core permeabilities
from the three channel wells. Similarly each layer was given
an average porosity value. Owing to the fact that there is
insufficient lateral variation in poroperm characteristics from
the appraisal well data, the porosity and permeability average
values for each layer are applied field wide. A kv/kh value of
0.8 was used for the entire reservoir model, which is based on
both large numbers of vertical core plugs and over minipermeameter measurements from well 13/24a-6.
The base case model was well matched against the full
pressure and water cut history of the 13/24a-6 extended well
test. This gave a high level of confidence for the set-up of the
base case simulation model.
Optimising Well Placements
Horizontal Well Length: Producers with long horizontal
sections can increase productivity, while reducing drawdown
and hence minimise gas/water coning (Figure 9). In theory,
the longer the horizontal section of the well, the later the gas
and water coning will breakthrough and consequently the
longer the oil plateau rate and the higher the ultimate recovery.
The length of the reservoir section is a function of the
minimum acceptable standoff distance and the drillers ability
to measure true vertical depth along the wellbore (i.e. the
accuracy of the survey tools). The base case model assumes an
average horizontal section of approximately 750m with a TVD
tolerance of +/- 1.5m (the drillers target).
Vertical Elevation of Horizontal Well: The vertical standoff
design and TVD control of the horizontal well is critical to
maintain plateau length and to minimise the rate of both water
and gas breakthrough in a relatively thin oil column. The
closer the well is to the GOC, the greater the chance of gas
breakthrough but the higher the final recovery. The optimal
standoff is at the depth, where water and gas breakthrough into
the wellbore simultaneously. The single well modelling, as
illustrated in Figure 10, suggests that the optimum standoff
for an average horizontal length of 750m and an initial
production rate of some 8000 bopd, is about 35 feet (10.7m)
from the GOC.
The planned standoff range of the six producers from the
GOC is 30 to 45 ft (9.1 to 13.7m), depending on where they

K. E. DU, S. PAI, J. BROWN, R. M. MOORE, AND M. SIMMONS

are in relation to the location and size of the gas cap. Wells P3,
P4 and P5 have the same standoff in the full field model, while
well P6 is always set 5ft (1.5m) lower than the wells located
on either side (refer to Figure 3). This is mainly because the
position of P6 is situated directly under the centre of the
largest gas cap and is therefore more prone to gas coning.
Modeling suggests that such varying standoffs with gas cap
height on an individual well basis will result in relatively flat
coning fronts across the field and hence improve the sweep
efficiency. Conversely, the gas cap above the wells P1 and P2
is small in size (about 2 bcf in total). Hence their vertical
standoffs were unchanged during the sensitivity runs (9m
vertical standoff for both wells).
The sensitivities of different vertical standoffs were run on
the full field model with a LGR of 3 x 3 x2. The results are
summaried below and shown in Figure 11:
The higher the vertical elevation of the horizontal
section, the higher final recovery of oil if there is no
restriction on gas handling.
The closer the well is to the GOC, the earlier the gas
break through and the higher the gas peak.
The total compression gas (produced gas and lift gas)
might exceed the allocated capacity when the wells
are positioned less than 35 ft (10.7m) from the GOC.
As flaring is not permissible, production and/or or gas
lift would have to be choked back to avoid flaring.
Figure 12 shows the optimum NPV (net present
value) is achieved at a stand-off of 30ft (9.1m) from
the GOC (the highest final recovery is reached at a
stand-off value of 19ft (5.8m) but its NPV is not the
highest because earlier gas coning reduces initial oil
rate). However with a theoretical standoff of only 30ft
(9.1m) does not take account of drilling uncertainty,
and to avoid exceeding the available compression of
37 mmscf/d, 35ft (10.7m) was chosen as the optimum
position for wells P3 to P5.
Reservoir Uncertainties and Risk Management
1). Gross Rock Volume (GRV): Uncertainty associated with
the depth of the top reservoir and the position of the channel
margins has the greatest impact on GRV and hence reserves.
Depth uncertainties have a critical impact on the size and
distribution of the gas caps. Seven out of the total of eight
development wells are designed with pilot holes which will
provide additional data and lead to better field definition as the
drilling programme progresses. Where practicable, it is
planned to extend the horizontal wells to intersect the edge of
the channel and thereby better define the edge of the reservoir.
2). Gas cap volumes and gas lift: The volumes of the gas caps
have major impacts on well placements and gas coning during
early production. Gas processing facilities on the FPSO will
be upgraded to handle the gas volumes predicted in the Base
Case model. Gas lift will be required once water breakthrough
occurs. Although gas coning from a gas cap will in theory
reduce the requirement for lift gas, in practice, gas coning
should be delayed for as long as possible since operational

SPE 64714

difficulties might arise in controlling the gas coning in such a


high permeability reservoir.
3). Sweep efficiency affected by reservoir heterogeneity.
Three appraisal wells have been drilled into the channel axis
and all had very similar reservoir properties of thickness, netto-gross, porosity and permeability. Therefore the current
reservoir model is essentially assumed to be a homogeneous
tank with no in-built heterogeneity. As a consequence,
sweep efficiency and recovery factors are predicted to be very
high in the simulation model. The oil beneath the producers is
almost fully swept to the assumed residual oil saturation, Sor.
In such a high permeability clean sandstone reservoir, the
effective value of Sor can be lower than the laboratory
measured 18%, but if there are reservoir heterogeneities
present it may be difficult in practice to achieve this Sor level.
Small reservoir heterogeneity can result from sub-seismic
faults or small scale shale plugs which may have a baffling
effect and form local barriers, resulting in a poorer sweep
efficiency and a different coning behaviour for the gas and the
water. None of the three appraisal wells encountered any
heterogeneity. The long horizontal section of the production
wells, by providing good areal coverage and improving sweep,
will mitigate against the effects of small-scale heterogeneities.
4). Well Placement and TVD tolerance within the horizontal
well section:
Quality control of the 9 5/8 casing cementation is
paramount to prevent gas channeling behind the
casing from the overlying gas cap.
The planned standoff from the GOC is dependent on
the location of the horizontal section with respect to
the gas caps. This design is based upon the balancing
of final oil recovery and gas coning as described
above. Each horizontal producer is designed with a
60 degree pilot hole to accurately locate the fluid
contacts and hence to adjust the standoff during the
drilling operations. In the absence of the GOC,
assuming a field wide OWC as the datum, each
horizontal section can be accurately referenced to the
datum penetrated in the pilot hole.
Deviations from the horizontal in the producing
sections may potentially lead to premature gas/water
coning. The development wells are designed to
achieve high productivity while maintaining optimum
stand-offs from the gas/oil and oil/water contacts.
Good drilling practice and LWD logs will be used to
ensure that well paths are constrained within the
TVD design limits.
The effective uniformly flowing length of the
horizontal wellbore has a major impact on the well
productivity, which in turn controls the drawdown
and hence gas and water coning. Drilling and
completion fluids have been selected on the basis of
rigorous laboratory testing and combined with good
completion practices will ensure that the desired
effective cleanup and productivity are achieved.

SPE 64714

OPTIMISING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLAKE FIELD UNDER TOUGH ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENT CONDITIONS

5). Water relative permeability. The laboratory measured krw


was an average of 0.2, and was confirmed by the well 13/24a6 extended well test. Within the likely range of krw, 0.15 0.25, the impact on ultimate recovery has been shown to be
minimal. The upgraded topside facilities will increase the
gross fluid handling capacity, and will enable the processing
of high rates of water production predicted by the range of krw
sensitivities.
6). Sand Production. Sand exclusion screens will be used in
the horizontal production wells to prevent sand production.
Extensive laboratory testing of screens with representative
dissaggregated sand samples from the cores confirmed that
gravel packing was unnecessary. Water injectors will be
completed with a cemented perforated liner.
Reservoir Management Philosophy
In such a high permeability reservoir, the efficiency of water
injection should not be an issue. However, managing the
reservoir during the production phase will be a challenging
task. This requires the balancing of water injection, gas lift
and production rates to control coning and to optimise
production and recovery. Effective reservoir management
practice requires the acquisition of the maximum possible
reservoir and production information on a continuous basis to
achieve optimal production.
Water Injection: Water injection is necessary from the start
of production, as the Blake Field comprises saturated oil.
Initially, the water injection rate will be higher than the offtake
rate to rapidly build up the reservoir pressure above the bubble
point. Having increased the reservoir pressure, the water
injection rate will be reduced to approximately equal to that of
the produced reservoir voidage. Water injection will be
balanced to achieve a sustainable oil production rate and as a
means to manage both water and gas coning. This will be
achieved by continuous reservoir monitoring and on-going
reservoir modelling.
Gas Behaviour: It is desirable that both gas and water coning,
especially gas coning, should be delayed as late as possible to
maximise the production plateau. Some coning may be
unavoidable in such a thin oil column. However, it is intended
to control and balance the production and injection rates with
the aim that gas breaks through later or at approximately the
same time as the arrival of water. In so doing, gas coning will
then facilitate the lifting of the produced fluids and thereby
maximise the oil rate. If the volume of the produced gas and
lift gas exceeds the available compression, then production
rates will be optimised to avoid flaring.
Flow Assurance: Based upon two pipelines of 10 and 12 inch
diameter, a minimum flowing tubing head pressure of 700 psia
is required to deliver the fluids to the Ross FPSO. Initially the
wells will flow at sufficient wellhead pressure without lift gas
but as water-cut and gross production rates increase, it will be
necessary to inject lift gas to maintain the flowing wellhead
pressure. This can be achieved by artificial lift in the form of

gas lift injection as the water cut increases. The gas lift will
maintain the flowing wellhead pressure to achieve flow
assurance and to maximise oil production. In the event of
some gas coning into a production well, it will be possible to
reduce the lift gas requirements.
Flowline simulation studies indicate that wax deposition
could occur and potentially block a flowline or the riser. It is
therefore essential that wax formation be prevented by
maintaining the arrival temperature above the wax appearance
temperature and/or by wax inhibitor injection. In the early
field life, the oil will be produced only through the more
insulated 10 production flowline to maintain the arrival
temperature above the wax appearance temperature of 31 to 35
degrees centigrade. Wax inhibitor will also be injected
initially until there is confidence that the arrival temperature
exceeds the wax appearance temperature. Later in field life, as
the gross production rate and water-cut increases, it will be
necessary to use the 12 production flowline and eventually to
use both production flowlines to achieve flow assurance.
Other flow assurance measures include:
A 5.5 and 7 tapered string in the well completion
design. The extra 7 section (about 300m) is designed to
increase the tubing head pressure.
Corrosion inhibitor will be continuously injected to
protect the carbon steel production flowlines from CO2
corrosion. Provisions are also made for biocide injection
if that is required to control microbial induced corrosion.
Scale inhibitor will be injected into both production
flowlines to prevent scale formation. Scale formation
downhole will be controlled by scale squeeze operations
upon the onset of seawater break through which will be
monitored by chemical tracers which will be introduced
into the injectors at field start-up.
Methanol (supplemented with kinetic hydrate inhibitor
later in field life) will be injected upstream of the
production choke on each well at start-up, and into the
trees and jumper spools, manifold headers and risers after
prolonged shutdowns.
Reservoir Monitoring
Dynamic reservoir management during the production phase
will be optimised on a continual basis utilising:

Permanently installed downhole gauges in each


production well for continuous pressure and temperature
monitoring.
Multiphase flowmeters, installed sub-sea for well /
reservoir performance management.
Gas lift metering per producer for production
optimisation.
Water injection metering in each injector for injection
optimisation.
Chemical tracing to monitor the arrival of injected water
into producers.
Two multiphase meters in the seabed will be provided to
ensure backup in the event of a failure. These meters can be

K. E. DU, S. PAI, J. BROWN, R. M. MOORE, AND M. SIMMONS

calibrated against each other, and can also be used by shutting


in a well and determining the production rate by difference
using the topsides meters downstream of the first stage
production separator. It will occasionally be necessary to take
a fluid sample from a specific well using the 10 production
flowline and the topsides sampling point. This operation will
be required when there is a significant change in the oil, gas or
produced water composition (as this affects the meter
calibration). The meters are specified to achieve in excess of
95% accuracy in the measurement of oil, gas and water flow
rates.
Conclusions
The Blake Field Development Plan coincided with a period of
low oil price and tighter environmental legislation for the UK
offshore industry. The subsea tieback to the Ross FPSO,
proved to be a cost-effective and economically viable
development option. The comprehensive data gathering
programme during the E&A drilling phase and the large
amount of reservoir modelling work enabled the operator to
gain a good understanding of the reservoir behaviour.
Particular attention was placed upon the modelling of the gas
behaviour in order to avoid flaring during the production
phase. Extensive use of pilot holes, LWD and tightly
controlled true vertical depth tolerances while drilling the
horizontal sections will be used to ensure that the wells be
placed appropriately and achieve the expected high
deliverablity. On the basis of an extensive research and
discussions with other operators of similar developments, the
best reservoir management and production monitoring
practices will be adopted.
The reservoir studies have provided a useful insight into how
an economically marginal field can be successfully developed
through existing infrastructure. The Field was discovered in
April 1997, the project was successfully sanctioned in January
2000 and development drilling commenced in April of the
same year.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank BG International, the operator of
the Blake Field, and its partners, Talisman Energy UK Limited
and Paladin Resources (Bittern) Ltd for permission to publish
the paper. The contributions of the members of the Blake
Subsurface Team and the Blake Project Development Team
are gratefully acknowledged: Alistair Scott, Bengisu
Koksalogu, Erica Smart, Sinead Lynch, Nick Colley, Rob
Glendinning, Rob Harris, Mark Perrin, Brian McCleery, David
Ord, Craig Paveley and Andrew Warren.

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BG International, 1999, Environment Statement for
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SPE 64714

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Exhibition.
10. Joshi, S, 1991, Horizontal Wells, Pennwalt.
11. Papatzacoc, P, et al, 1991, Cone Breakthrough Time for
Horizontal Wells, SPE Reservoir Engineering, Aug
1991, pp 311-318.
12. Wagenhofer, T and Hatzignatiou, D. G., 1996,
Optimisation of Horizontal Well Placement, paper SPE
35714 presented at the Western Regional Meeting.

SPE 64714

OPTIMISING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLAKE FIELD UNDER TOUGH ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENT CONDITIONS
L im e sto n e

S a n d sto n e

30

S h a le

O ffsh ore Pe troleum


Pr odu ctio n & Pip elin es
R egu latio ns

Sa nction
D eve lopm en t
Plann ing

B rent oil Price (us$/bbl)

2 5 D isco very

G OC

E& A D rillin g

20

D eve lopm en t C on cep t


Sc ree ning

15

10

OWC
5
J a n-9 7

J a n-9 8

J a n-9 9

J a n-0 0

Fig 4: Blake: From Discovery to Sanction

Fig.1: Schematic Correlation of Wells for Blake Field

Fig.2: Blake Schematic Depositional Model for Captain


Standstones
545 0

W I 1/D - v7

13/2 4b -3
54 00

53 50
00
54

W I-1

50
54

Fig 5. Blake Field Development Concept


WI 1/D-pilot -v 8

40
P 1/D

P 2/D _v 2

13/2 4a- 4

P2
25

-5145

30
0

Gas Rates (MMscf/d)

-5143

0
53

-5187
-5187

00
52

P1

Gas compression limit

35

525 0
53
00

5 40 0

51
50

51 5 0

P3
P6
P 3/D

13/2 4a- 6

13/2 4a- 5

P 6/D

P4

D rill
C en tre

P 4/D

52 0

P5

13/2 9b -6

P 5/D

25
Field P roduc ed G as Rate
20

Lift G as Rate

15

Field Com pres s ion G as Rate

10
5

52
00

0
0

W I-2

WI 2/D_v 3

455 0

13/2 9b -5

53 5
0

54 0

8
Ye ars

Fig.3 Blake Field Map.

55 5

Fig.6: Blake Base Gas Profiles.

10

12

14

K. E. DU, S. PAI, J. BROWN, R. M. MOORE, AND M. SIMMONS

SPE 64714

1 .0

180

0 .9

Krw

160

Kro

0 .8

G as B reakthrough Tim e

Fw

140

0 .6

120

Breakthrough Tim e (days)

0 .7

W ater B reakthrough Tim e

100

0 .5
0 .4
0 .3
0 .2
0 .1

80
60
40
20

0 .0
0

0 .1

0 .2

0 .3

0 .4

0 .5

0 .6

0 .7

0 .8

0 .9

0
0

Fig. 7: Blake Average Oil-Water Relative Permeability Curves

10

20

30

40

50

60

Standoff from GOC (ft)

WI 1

Gas

P2 P3

Fig. 10: Single Well Modelling Standoff Versus Gas/Water


Breakthrough Times (the base case gas cap size)

WI 2

Oil

B lake W ell V ertical Standoff O ptimisation


45

W ater

2
40

C urre nt bascas e

SE

'Channel'

R eserves Incr em ental (m m stb)

C om p ression L im it
35

0
15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

-1
30
-2
R eserv es Inc re m ental

-3

25

G as Rate (m m scf/d)

NW

M ax Co m press ion G as R ate


M ax prod gas rate

-4

20
-5

E x ce e d s c o m p r e ssio n lim it: e x c e ssiv e g a s to b e fla re d o r p ro d u ctio n


to b e c h o k e d b a ck

-6

Fig.8: Blake Simulation Model a XZ Cross-Section Plot

15
W ells S tand-off fro m the GOC

Fig.11: Full Field Modelling Sensitivities on Standoffs


Bla ke Group (Gross) NP V (10) Incre m e nta l

Base case

Stand -off

O il W ater C o ntact
Pilot ho le

N PV(10) in crem en tal (m m $)

G as O il C ontact
0
10

20

30

40

-5

-10

-15
W e lls Stan d o ff fr o m GOC (fe e t)

Fig. 9: Horizontal Well Placement

Fig.12: Economical Impacts of Well Placements

50

60