A key to future energy needs is developing mature fields
Mature fields account for more than 70% of the world’s oil and gas production. Their recovery potential is enormous with 80% of estimated reserves found in the Middle East and North Africa regions, 43% in the Asia Pacific region, and 24% in Latin America. Increasing recovery from mature fields involves extending the life of the well or field beyond the decline curve through secondary, improved and enhanced recovery (EOR) methods. A 1% increase in production could add 2 extra years to the global hydrocarbon supply and help meet future energy demands.
What is a mature field?
A mature field is a hydrocarbon source that is past peak production and in decline. This means that all of its “easy” hydrocarbons have been produced through primary recovery efforts such as the reservoir’s natural pressure. Mature fields can be found in conventional, unconventional or deepwater reservoirs. Depending on the permeability and flow regime of the reservoir, a field can reach the mature phase in as little as 3-6 months or as much as 30 years.
Unlocking the reservoir’s potential
Extracting oil or gas from mature fields can present difficult and costly challenges. Certain reserves are known but have not been accessed because of previous inability to produce them economically. Other reserves have been accessed but could not be produced because of technological limitations and old infrastructure.
Careful planning and analysis are needed in order to identify ways to improve well productivity, find bypassed pay and maximize reservoir contact from mature assets.