The placement of production wells, and the timing of their drilling, dictates the amount of hydrocarbons that will be produced in the ensuing years, and how much of the total reserves will be recovered. Complex reservoirs involving numerous bodies, associated with a complicated connectivity pattern, make this task all the more challenging.
Getting the picture right
The field development process relies on the available information from the discovery and appraisal wells, and the seismic data covering the area. The 3D model of the reservoir needs to be fully quantified with rock properties (porosity, permeability, lithology), fluid properties (pressure, saturation) and mechanical properties (stress). In the case of a compartmentalized reservoir connectivity becomes a major concern, as it dictates how much of the reservoir has been proven by appraisal drilling.
In areas subject to tectonic or other regional stress regimes, a full evaluation of the geomechanical elements affecting the reservoir, based on a geological interpretation of the existing wells, and where possible using image log analysis to refine the model, helps mitigate possible reservoir failures during development and production.