The reasons for dry wells

OGA – the UK oil & gas authority – believes that old-fashioned geology and geophysics should still prevail in de-risking of exploration targets.

«The main way to avoid drilling dry wells is by applying sound Geology & Geophysics & Reservoir science allowing prospects to be defined within a Play based understanding with adequate robust challenge. And to ask the awkward question: what else could it be?».

OGA – NPDs counterpart in the UK – has in collaboration with 24 oil companies made a very interesting study in the North Sea. The Moray Firth – Central North Sea Post Well Analysis project provides detailed analyses and interpreted reasons for failure of the 98 studied wells.

Wells fall into three categories: dry, technical success, and commercial success. The project focused on the first two categories, although the overall technical success ratio amounted to 40%.

The objectives of the study were to a) fully understand why a prospect was drilled, b) understand the reasons to for success and failure. In addition, it was deemed important to share the results with the industry.

OGA will therefore present the conclusions from the study at the NCS Exploration conference in May.

The analysis showed that 33% of the wells were drilled because of a perceived Direct Hydrocarbon Indicator (“DHI), of which 41% were perceived as AVO-supported and 35% amplitude supported. The results from the study are therefore particularly relevant for the said conference as the speakers will dig into the exploration tool-box.

Two cases are of particular interest. Engie will present their de-risking of the Cara prospect where oil and gas were found up dip of a well that has previously been classified as dry, while Rosneft will present their (risked) view of the Korpfjell prospect in the Barents Sea (GEO 05/2017; “Forventer milliarder av fat”) prior to drilling.

Look out for some surprising results!

Det viktigste fra de siste dagene

Gruveingeniør & Geolog/Gruvegeolog

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