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US oil major Chevron is moving ahead with plans for an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project using polymer technology on its Captain heavy oil field in the UK North Sea.

The Captain field was discovered in 1977, in Block 13/22a on the edge of the outer Moray Firth. The billion-barrel field achieved first production in March 1997 – 20 years ago this year – thanks to developments in horizontal drilling and down-hole pumps. 

Stage 1 of the EOR project, which follows several EOR pilot programs at Captain, will see the drilling of up to six long-reach horizontal injection wells. 

Since 2010, Chevron has been trialing polymer EOR on its Captain heavy oil field. Earlier this year, the firm started its fourth pilot project on the field to further refine its polymer EOR plans for Captain. 

Norway's Statoil has also been putting the technology to test on its Heidrun field, with plans for further pilots on other fields in coming years.

Meanwhile both of these firms, along with BP and Shell, which have been considering use of polymer EOR on the Quad 204 project, have been taking part in an industry Task Force on EOR, which today, under the Oil and Gas Authority, published Polymer Enhanced Oil Recovery - Industry Lessons Learned. Find the document here

The Captain facilities comprise a wellhead protector platform and bridge linked platform connected to a floating production, storage and pffloading vessel.

For many years, the field has been under waterflood, which means a lot of effort is put into water production and treatment (some 300,000 b/d of water are produced). However, there is still a lot of bypassed oil, because of the way waterflood results in a “coning” effect in the reservoir.

Chevron Upstream Europe managing director Greta Lydecker said: “Sanctioning Stage 1 EOR at Captain is an important milestone in the development of the technology, which we believe will improve the recovery rate from older fields and help extend the life of assets.”

Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) Area Manager Eric Marston said: “Polymer EOR has the potential to increase recovery, extend field life and stimulate field redevelopments. Chevron, along with BP, Shell and Statoil, has been a driving force behind the industry-led EOR task force. I commend their openness in sharing their lessons learned with the wider industry and their contribution to the OGA’s ‘Polymer Enhanced Oil Recovery – Industry Lessons Learned’ publication which will be published shortly.”

CNSL holds 85% and is the operator of the Captain field, Dana Petroleum (E&P) holds 15%.

Read more

Elaine Maslin surveys some of the heavy oil field developments in the UK Continental Shelf, plus some of the technology aimed at unlocking it.

Offshore enhanced oil recovery pilots by Chevron and Statoil in the North Sea are paving the way towards helping to get more heavy oil out of the ground. Elaine Maslin reports.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 01:24

Shearwater delivers Eastern Med 3D data

Shearwater GeoServices has delivered a 3D Fast Track Pre-Stack Depth Migration (PreSDM) product for Edison International, following the efficient acquisition of a high quality 3D SHarp broadband dataset in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Simon Telfer, VP Processing and Imaging of Shearwater, stated that "Edison required a PreSDM volume within weeks of completing the 3D acquisition. We delivered to Edison a full 3D Pre-Stack Depth Migration product, including broadband processing and iterative model-building in just over four weeks from the final acquired shot record. We are excited to be able to offer high-end Depth Imaging as part of our Fast-Track products across our vessels."

Bruno Garcea, Seismic Supervisor of Edison’s Egypt branch, affirmed "Depth Imaging and Broadband technology are key elements to achieve a better seismic image of sub-salt plays in the Eastern Mediterranean. So we required, for the first time, to obtain a quick depth volume immediately after acquisition. Shearwater took up the challenge and, just a few weeks after the last shot, delivered us a good quality and robust FT PreSDM product."

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 02:21

OE17: Aker launching MultiBooster

Aker Solutions (stand 5C100) is launching its MultiBooster, a new, up to 6MW subsea multiphase pump to help operators maximize production from existing oil and gas fields, at SPE Offshore Europe this week.

Aker Solutions says the now qualified, standardized and modular design pump is more powerful than any other pump currently available, making it ideal for increasing the pressure on long step-outs and tie-backs.

The centrifugal pump is driven by new subsea induction motors, which can boost from 1-6 MW with the same mechanical platform by varying the pump impellers and the number of stages.  

The system is fitted with advanced condition monitoring, including proximity probes to accurately measure radial and axial displacements of the rotor, with integrated software and data analytics, to maintain efficiency and for cost effectiveness.

The industry is looking to get more out of the assets they already have. In many cases, these assets include older fields which require more pressure—that’s where the MultiBooster comes in, said Marco Gabelloni, business development director at Aker Solutions.

Aker Solutions says the MultiBooster’s combination of generated pressure and boost capacity means it can be deployed in a wide range of oil fields with various flow rates, water depths (down to 3000m) and long tie-back distances.

System performance has been proven through an extensive testing campaign in a full-scale multiphase test loop at Tranby, Norway, with varying mixtures of water and gas to demonstrate the MultiBooster’s gas handling capabilities.

Together with the POWERJump, which was qualified earlier this year, the MultiBooster complements Aker Solutions portfolio of subsea multiphase pumps by providing solutions for all types of boosting applications.

Monday, 28 August 2017 05:06

Harvey continues to wreak havoc

Tropical storm Harvey continues to wreak havoc in North America after bringing much of Houston to a halt following torrential rain over the weekend, leading to record "catastrophic" flooding. 

Transport across the city, a key hub for the oil industry, has been halted by floodwaters, due to more than 30in of rain falling on the city in some areas, with up to 50in expected in areas, according to Bloomberg. The city's George R. Brown Convention Center has been opened to those forced out of their homes. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, public transport was halted and schools will shut for a week, says Bloomberg. 

Harvey is being described as the strongest storm to hit the US since 2004. This morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the flooding was "catastrophic and life threatening." NOAA says, on the forecast track, the center of Harvey is forecast to move off the middle Texas coast this morning, and remain just offshore through Tuesday.

Many oil firms have shut their offices today, including Baker Hughes, a GE company, ConocoPhillips, which tweeted today that its offices would be shut today and tomorrow. Refineries are also being shut-in.

Operators in the Gulf of Mexico had started to evacuate offshore failities mid-week, before the storm hit. By Sunday, personnel had been evacuated from 105 production platforms, amounting to 14.25% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). 

Personnel had also been evacuated from five rigs (non-dynamically positioned, or DP), equivalent to 50% of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating. One DP rig, out of 21 operating in the Gulf, had moved off location as a precaution, said BSEE yesterday. A further update is expected at 1pm CDT today.

According to operator reports, it is estimated that about 21.64% of the current oil production of 1.75 MMbbl b/d in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, equating to 378,633 b/d. It is also estimated that approximately 25.71%, or 827.89 MMcf/d of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

Image: NOAA rainfall forecast, for 28 August through 4 September.

 
 
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