Apache expands Forties output with 4D seismic

By OGJ editors
– The location for a UK North Sea Forties field development well that went on production at 12,567 b/d of oil, a 20-year field high, was chosen from 4D time-lapse seismic data, said Apache Corp.

Apache, which shot the most recent 3D survey over the field in 2010, is identifying more areas of bypassed oil from the 4D data. It has tapped another of those targets at the Delta 3-5 development well, which began production at 8,781 b/d of oil.

At 12,567 b/d, the Charlie 4-3 development well had the highest initial rate in Forties since 1990. It follows the previously disclosed Charlie 2-2, completed in March 2011 at 11,876 b/d.

Charlie 4-3 and Delta 3-5 are the eighth and ninth development wells brought on production at Forties this year. Apache expects to drill a total of 16 wells in the field in 2011.

Forties was making 40,000 b/d when Apache acquired it in 2003. With the onset of the new wells in mid-June, gross production rates have reached as high as 70,000 b/d of oil equivalent even with output constraints due to construction projects and temporary pipeline closures.

At the Charlie platform alone, Apache development drilling has hiked production to 30,000 b/d from a low of less than 5,000 b/d in 2006. Apache expects full transmission capacity to become available in the current quarter as planned repair and maintenance work is completed and the Bravo pipeline comes back online.

Apache owns a 97.14% interest in Forties field, the largest single oil accumulation discovered in the UK North Sea and 40 years after its discovery the second highest producing oil field.

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