DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Aramco discovered three new oil fields last year, the company disclosed in its annual review, including the offshore Faskar accumulation, close to the Berri field.
The company continued exploration in the shallow waters of the Red Sea, and also completed its largest single survey of the seabed encompassing Saudi Arabian territorial water.
In addition, the company continued its “Maintain Potential” program. Last year, for example, the largest offshore tie-in platform to date, weighing more than 6,000 metric tons (6,614 tons), was installed on the Safaniyah field via the floatover method.
The platform serves as the main crude oil gathering and power supply hub for North Safaniyah. Power is supplied through a new 46-km (28.6-mi), 230-kV submarine cable – the longest of its kind in the world installed as a single piece without a field splice, the company claimed.
Aramco increased the computing capability of its Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center by 177% for reservoir simulations and by 76% in terms of seismic capacity.
These improvements have enabled significantly larger reservoir simulations and have reduced data processing times by a factor of 10, improving the company’s ability to model and characterize the performance of reservoirs over time to optimize field development and increase recovery.
The company dispensed with drilling rigs to replace downhole gauges by for the first time deploying gauges retrievable by wirelines at its offshore Marjan, Safaniyah, and Zuluf fields. The rigless approach is said to be safer and delivers cost savings by freeing up drilling rigs for other work.
Aramco is evaluating this method for possible deployment in other fields.
It also plans to commercialize its inflatable contingency ease scraper technology, which helps prevent production loss in offshore facilities, following a licensing agreement signed with a new company created by IK International in Norway and the Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures corporate capital venture subsidiary.
Finally, Wasit Gas Plant, one of Aramco’s largest non-associated gas plants, came onstream in October with supplies sourced entirely from the company’s offshore fields. By mid-2016 Wasit will have the capacity to produce a maximum of 1.7 bcf/d of sales gas and to fractionate 240,000 b/d of natural gas liquids.
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