The Captain Field, Block 13/22a, UK North Sea

S. J. PINNOCK I & A. R. J. CLITHEROE2•3 Updated by P. T. S. ROSE2.4 1 Texaco Ltd., I Wesiferry Circus. Canary Wharf, London Ei4 4HA. UK Present address: EDCO Oil & Gas Ltd, 39 Portman Square, London, Wi H 6LS, UK 2 Texaco Ltd., Langlands House. Huntly St .. Aberdeen, ABIO iSH, UK (e-mail Present address: Chevron Texaco Upstream Europe, Seafield House, Hill of Rubislaw, Aberdeen AB15 6XL, UK 4 Present address. Landmark EAME Ltd, Wellheads Crescent, Dyce. Aberdeen AB21 lGA, UK


Abstract: The Captain Field is located in Block l3/22a in the Western Moray Firth Basin of the UK North Sea, 80 miles NE of Aberdeen in a water depth of 340ft. Hydrocarbons are trapped in two geographical regions, the Main and Eastern closures. both with a significant stratigraphic pinchout component. The principal reservoirs consist of turbidite sandstones of Lower Cretaceous age which have been informally subdivided into two stratigraphic units comprising the Upper and Lower Captain Sandstones. At the base of the preserved Jurassic section the Heather Sandstone, Oxfordian in age, provides a secondary reservoir. Reservoir quality is uniformly excellent in the Lower Cretaceous with in situ, Klinkenberg corrected permeability averaging 7 Darcies and porosity in the range 28-34%. The reservoir is generally poorly consolidated sandstone with the depth to the crest of the field at -2700 ft TVDss. The reservoirs contain a total oil-in-place of 1000 MMBO. The Upper Captain Sandstone has a small associated gas cap containing 16 BCF gas-in-place. The oil IS heavy, by North Sea standards, with oil gravity ranging from 19 to 21" API and has high in situ viscosity, 150 to 47 cP, at the mean reservoir temperature of STF. The fluid properties and offshore location necessitate the employment of innovative horizontal drilling methods, completion design and artificial lift technology in order to achieve an economically viable field development. Extended reach horizontal wells, with reservoir completion lengths of up to 8000 ft, are drilled for all oil producers and water injectors. Development risks were significantly reduced following two appraisal drilling campaigns in 1990 and 1993 culminating with the successful drilling and extended testing of a prototype horizontal field development well (13/22a-[0). The field is being developed in two phases, Area A and Area B. First oil production commenced from the Captain platform in March 1997 from Area A and the field now produces at between 50000 and 70000 BOPD. Area B development is now underway with first oil planned for December 2000. Completion of this phase of the development will increase the plateau production rate to 85000 BOPD.

The Captain Field is located on the western margin of the Halibut Horst (Captain Ridge) in the Western Moray Firth region of the UK North Sea (Fig. I). The field comprises a three-way dip closed structure and stratigraphic pinchout trap. The principal reservoir

consists of turbidite sandstones, informally referred to as the and Lower Captain Sandstone. Variations in relief of closure the structure combined with internal reservoir distribution the formation of three structural regions within the field

Upper across lead to (Main,




in lee!









Fig. 1. Structural selling of the Western Moray Firth Basin (after Roberts et al. 1990) showing the location of the Captain Field and regional distribution of the Captain Sandstone Member (from Rose [999). GLUYAS, J. G. & HlcHENs, H. M. (eds) 2003. United Kingdom Oil and Gas Fields.

Commemorative Millennium Volume. Geological SOCiety, London, Memoir, 20, 431-441.


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The 90 day production in 13/22a-IO demonstrated that high productivity was achievable (150 bblsjpsi/day PI) and on this basis a design rate of 15000 BOPD was thought to be reasonable for Captain horizontal development wells. After early teething problems with the water supply and water injection systems. '" " '" '" :::: w ... u iI Ir- I"""''''"':.aIII . :: a .. which also included Blocks 14/20. storage and off-loading vessel. led to consideration of alternative options for development of Captain. :.r'. The accumulations are large with a combined STOIIP of 1000 MMBO.-. the oil being lifted by an electrical submersible pump (ESP).. on Blocks 15/16 and 20/5 respectively. installed in August 1996. Captain type Eastern and Southern Terrace... 3. Captain is one of the first offshore fields in the North Sea to be developed exclusively with horizontal wells.. explore the Eastern area of closure. economic development was considered to be highly problematic at that time.___... The eastern part of the field.. Tavendale (1997)..:. The geological results of this programme confirmed the size of the Cretaceous accumulation together with the discovery of oil in the Heather Sandstone Member at the base of the local Jurassic section. "I .. Although over 200 ft of oil column was encountered the well failed to flow during a conventional well test. and the potential for early water breakthrough and high water cut from prospective vertical or normally deviated production wells. Subsequent vertical wells 13/22a-3. . Storage and Offioading vessel (FPSO) from which crude oil is exported by shuttle tanker. -6 and -7 partially appraised the Main area ofclosure (Fig. First oil production from the Captain Field was established in March 1997. and demonstrated the feasibility of drilling and completing horizontal wells in the poorly consolidated reservoirs... and to drill and perform a long term production test from an extended reach horizontal well.. The OxfordianKimmeridgian Heather Sandstone Member provides a secondary reservoir (Fig. Cohen & Dallas (1997) and Sutton (1997). I i- - " . OIRJDIII lUll. The Captain Field was discovered in 1977 by the drilling of the wildcat exploration well 13/22-1.. the licence was reassigned to P324. acquired a 15% interest in the Captain Field. carry out a water coning test. II . The first of these. 4). 0 . 15/16. underwent a 50% relinquishment in March 1978. Following the development of the Tartan and Buchan fields. 2).. the rate being restricted by the surface test equipment Following evaluation of the 1990 well results. -5. P237. The Captain Field lies wholly in part Block 13/22a. History Texaco North Sea UK Limited acquired a 100% interest in Block 13/22 through the fourth UK Round of licensing in March 1972. 4).. tied back through a suite of pipelines to a Floating Production.. Lach (1997). The subsequent ambitious 1993 appraisal drilling campaign was designed to further delineate the Main area of closure. Development of Area B will increase the Captain Field fluid processing capacity with construction of a bridge-linked processing platform next to the Area A wellhead platform. Fig. . . see Fig. Cohen (1997). A drilling template was installed in 1995 and seven Area A development wells were successfully drilled that year using a semi-submersible drilling rig to allow earliest plateau production to be achieved. Field development has been phased because of the requirement for at least two drilling centres to effectively develop and produce all currently proven hydrocarbons. The original licence. exhibiting excellent porosity and permeability (Table I). !i '" ~ :: o¥IWI ~ I I~ " z . and the processing and interpretation of the full field 3D seismic survey acquired in that year.. I ':18T.. 15/23 and 20/5. !AlE 0 . . 15/7. 3) and are poorly consolidated.. leading to extended appraisal programmes in the early 1990s. .. and on this basis Texaco was awarded licence P809 in the 1994 Fourteenth UK Round. Since platform installation a further 13 development wells had been drilled by January 1999. 4) in the summer of 1996 and tied back to a floating production. a joint venture between the Korean National Oil Company and Hanwha Energy Inc. The initial development area.l\A . initiating production from the Captain Field in March 1997. at reservoir conditions. is currently under development with first oil production planned for December 2000. operated by Texaco North Sea UK Company. An initial appraisal programme was undertaken during the period 1989 to 1990.: '" '" . between 50000 and 70000 BOPD have been produced from the field The engineering aspects of the Area A development are discussed by Pallent et al.. the submission of the field development plan in 1994.. In April 1997 the Korea Captain Company Ltd.. . Although the field was discovered in 1977 the viscous nature of the crude oil inhibited earlier economic development. Due to unfavourable water mobility. However. EMU ICJl .. Area B (Fig. advances in horizontal drilling technology during the 1980s prompted a full and detailed re-evaluation of the discovery. later advances in horizontal drilling technology through the mid 1980s. This paper updates Pinnock & Clitheroe (1997) which documented the Captain Field history up to the initiation of the development phase. However. successfully production tested the accumulation at 740 BOPD from 60ft of perforated interval.CAPTAIN FIELD 433 -.. 2).a HIE l~ ~" JrMl ~ '" - '" '" "I . with the drilling of six wells. the commercial viability of the field was established. . . in the Lower Captain Sandstone reservoir. I Fig. This saw Texaco's holding in 13/22 reduced to the area around the present day Captain Field. The Captain Sandstones are Late Aptian in age (Fig. . Well 13f22a-8 was drilled and completed with a 1000ft horizontal section. The CPF comprises a Well-head Protection Platform (WPP). Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy. Etebar (1997). ::. contains a Central manned drilling and Production Facility (CPF). A well-head production platform was installed over the western part of the field (Area A. and ultimately. well l3/22a-7.. The well was pumped at 6600 BOPD.~ I~ ! I .. of up to 200 cP... These positive results enabled the development to proceed. The field was interpreted to extend into Block 13/17. IO. vertical well 13/22a-2.. denoted Area A and covering the western sector of the Captain Field (Fig. .. Subsequent evaluation of reverse-circulated oil samples showed the accumulation to consist of a relatively heavy oil (19 API) with an estimated viscosity. I . 3).. D . Subsequent evaluations of appraisal well data questioned this assumption and the 13/17 licence was relinquished in 1999. (1995).

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The Upper Jurassic Heather Sandstone Member varies from Lower Oxfordian to Kimmeridgian in age. 1 for location).CAPTAIN FIELD 435 Exploitation of Area B the eastern sector of Captain (Fig. shale prone. plunging to the west. 1 cf. The relationship of the Captain Sandstone Member with these other occurrences is. These relationships imply that the Lower Captain Sandstone was deposited in a pre-cut submarine channel that cut across the Captain Ridge. . These are overlain by Early Barremian distal. Water handling capacity will increase from 230000 BWPD with the Area A facilities to 400000 BWPD after development of Area 8. 1990).to early syn-rift deposition across the Captain Ridge and are capped by syn-rift deep marine Kimmeridgian shales. Crornarty and Goldeneye Fields and on the eastern margin of the Moray Firth Basin (for example III the Britannia Field). without further significant tectonism. in response to N-S orientated extensional forces. Biostratigraphic data indicate that that the Lower Captain Sandstone overlays older sediments (Upper Hauterivian) in the thick centre of the fairway whereas in the thin marginal zones the Lower Captain Sandstone lies on Lower Aptian claystone. confirming this as a positive feature for most of this period. Several unconformities occur within the Mesozoic succession on the Captain Ridge. and is supported by data from other wells in the Western Moray Firth Basin. This supports the regional Moray Firth Basin on-lap trend for basal Upper Jurassic sands (Underhill & Partington 1993). The Heather Sandstone Member is interpreted to reflect a transgressive retrogradational package of shallow marine sandstones that form the basin margin equivalents of the more basinal. The overlying Chalk Group was deposited from pelagic suspension fall-out during a period of relative tectonic quiescence.] Field stratigraphy The stratigraphic succession within the Western Moray Firth Basin was influenced by the intermi ttent activity of a series of major fault systems. The encasing mudstones consist of parallel laminated distal turbidites and pelagic mudstones interbedded with abundant slump deposits. the Captain Ridge formed a structural high. although it is likely that the ridge plunged westwards more steeply than the overall regional dip. with the creation of a complex series of smaller basins by rotational block faulting under an extensional regime (Underhill 1991). The Kimmeridge Clay Formation is attenuated and condensed in the area of the Captain Field and consists primarily of silty claystones. The oldest and thickest Lower Cretaceous section occurs in the northwest of Block 13/22a with the westerly plunging ridge onlapped progressively eastwards. The Upper Captain Sandstone pinches out to the south and does not cross the crest of the ridge whereas the Lower Captain Sandstone f0f111S restricted (2km wide) thick fairway that crosses the ridge in a a north northwest to south southeast orientation (Figs 5 and 6). Early Hauterivian sands occur to the west whilst the Lower Cretaceous in well 13/22a-3 to the east is represented only by Late Aptian shales. This well was drilled to a total depth of 3950 ft and encountered sediments from Tertiary to Devonian in age. The Area B facilities are currently under construction with a planned start up date in the 4th Quarter 2000. The Upper Captain Sandstone is interpreted as a series of stacked unconfined turbidite lobes that did not cross the Captain Ridge. Wedge-shaped fault aprons of early Lower Cretaceous sediment occur along the hanging walls of the major faults within the basin and are unconformable with respect to the underlying strata. low density turbidite silts and shales with occasional sands. Above this unconformity lie the two reservoir sands of the Captain Sandstone Member. leading to the interpretation that the Captain Ridge was a positive feature at that time. and contain a significant silicified sponge spicule component. Completion of these facilities will increase peak oil production capacity to 100000 BOPD from a current design of 60000 BOPD. 4). the oldest beds occurring in the west. The geometry implied by this model has been confirmed by development drilling. Only thin age-equivalent sands have been encountered in the West Halibut Basin immediately to the south of the Captain Field. The diachronous nature of these sandstones across the field area can be demonstrated from the high density of well control. It is suggested that the sands were redeposited in the deeper water depths to the south of the East Shetland Platform during a period of relative sea-level low stand. The Jurassic forms a thickening wedge to the north and dramatically thickens to the south in the West Halibut Basin. consistent with the time of maximum Aptian coarse clastic development elsewhere in the Moray Firth Basin. Subsequent Tertiary uplift of the western-most portion of the Moray Firth Basin led to erosion of the Chalk Group and the Tertiary to the west of the Smith Bank Graben (see Fig. 3). although one turbiditic sandstone unit is locally developed in the Mid Volgian. Hydraulic pumps are being used to mitigate the perceived inherent unreliability of electrical motors and for their superior gas handling capacity. the first field-wide application of this technology in the North Sea. Seismic interpretation suggests these sandstones represent pre. Jurassic sediments are absent across the crest of the Halibut Horst. The sandstones are typically fine-medium grained. remnant (Kimmeridgian shale) section is preserved in well 13/22a-3. The sandstones are interpreted as highdensity turbidite deposits but abundant glauconite indicates that the sandstones were stored originally on a shallow shelf The isochore distribution described above implies that the shelfal area was the East Shetland Platform. the westerly extension of the Halibut Horst. A regional isochore map for the Aptian Captain Sandstone shows that the thickest sand is preserved to the north of the Captain Field against the Wick Fault (Fig. It is inferred that major block rotation during the Upper Jurassic was followed by infilling of thebasin topography during the Lower Cretaceous. Seismo-stratigraphic interpretation indicates that Lower Cretaceous sediments on-lap the Upper Jurassic section over the main structural highs in the Western Moray Firth Basin. Both the Lower and Upper Captain Sandstones are dated as Late Aptian. allowing the rapid local diachroneity. and draped the Lower Cretaceous sea floor topography. The Jurassic succession has been progressively eroded eastwards along the Captain Ridge by the Base Cretaceous Unconformity such that only a thin. The latter point is of key importance to the Area B development as the oil is overlain by a free gas cap over much of the area. Evolution of the basin continued into the Jurassic. The area B wells will be drilled from a sub-sea template tied back to a new processing platform bridge-linked to the Area A drilling platform. The Captain Ridge appears to have been an important positive feature that influenced deposition throughout the Aptian. It is planned to lift oil in the sub-sea wells using hydraulic down-hole pumps. No remnant Permo-Triassic section is preserved across the Captain Field. Basin formation began in the Permian (Roberts et al. The sandstones are generally featureless and massive. again confirming this as a long lived structural high. Again. Johnson & Lott 1993). dewatering structures and mud clast horizons are the most common sedimentary features seen in the sands. The basal Cretaceous sands which initiate onlap of the Captain Ridge are assigned to the Coracle Sandstone Member of the Valhall/Wick Sandstone Formation (Johnson & Lott 1993) and are informally referred to as the Lower Wick Sandstone. was an important Jurassic footwall crest. will comprise the second stage. Heather Formation. becoming coarser grained towards the east. Thicker Aptian turbidite reservoir sands occur along the southern margin of the Halibut Horst in the Blake. although it is well developed to the north on the Smith Bank High. The Captain Ridge. at present. unclear. The pre-Chalk Mesozoic section comprises a condensed series of interbedded sandstones and shales lying unconformably on the Devonian. An Upper Barremian unconformity has been identified through field biostratigraphic studies. The Lower Cretaceous interval records the passive infill of the half graben topography formed by basal Cretaceous tectonism. The type well for the stratigraphy of the Captain Field is 13/22a-7 (Fig. The distributions of the Upper and Lower Captain Sandstone show strongly contrasting geometries over the Captain Field. and is an integral part of the development.


These 2D seismic data sets. No obvious geological trends are apparent within this unit despite the full coverage provided by the 3D seismic dataset. This is a strong continuous seismic reflector formed at the interface between the Chalk and the underlying poorly consolidated Albian/Aptian clastics. This maximized the rate at which the data could be acquired. Depth conversion has historically been problematic over the Captain Field.field. Differential compaction has resulted in the present morphology with the sand rich zones forming pronounced mounds above the Base Tertiary surface. The lower of these units are assumed to belong to the Maureen Formation (Knox & Holloway 1992) and contain interbedded. derived from the Halibut Horst to the east. lies a greatly condensed (25 ft thick) section of Latest Aptian and Albian claystones. FIELD I CAPTAIN rr ace I s o 500 . The unit appears to represent an interdigitation of reworked chalk debris-flow deposits. Events associated with the shallower horizons are generally of good quality. and were picked for depth conversion purposes. with associated reduction in acquisition costs. Tertiary uplift and erosion causes the Chalk to subcrop the sea bed only 25 km W of the Captain Field on the Smith Bank High. but are often masked by water bottom and peg leg multiples. for example around 13/22a-12 (Fig. The Captain reservoir sands are represented by weak. informally termed the SolajRodby Shale. due to the dramatic effect small lateral velocity changes can have on such a large but low relief structure. This consists of differing amounts of allochthonous limestone and basin floor clastic sands and has a very marked impact on the seismic. to overcome these deficiencies. drawn from 21 different surveys. Below these the Base Chalk horizon forms the principal seismic event used to define the structural form of the underlying Captain Sandstone Member. in both continuity and character. The Upper Chalk drapes the structure in a generally layer cake fashion. The most variable stratigraphic unit over the Captain Field is the Lower Maureen Formation. A simple model using contoured average velocities to Base Chalk is used for depth conversion in this area. Area A (see Fig. inhibiting any detailed evaluation. The Maureen Formation sandstones are not considered prospective in this area due to the lack of any mechanism for hydrocarbon charge. discontinuous seismic events just below Base Chalk level. of varied vintage.ooc BASE CHALK UPPER JURASSIC - UNC. .CEOUS o =' 1000 Fig. In Captain this issue is exacerbated by the very inhomogeneous velocity structure of the Maureen interval described above together with lateral velocity changes within the Chalk.CAPTAIN FIELD 437 Between the Upper Captain Sandstone and the overlying Chalk top seal. The lower formations of the Chalk Group are condensed over the Captain Field and further east can be seen onlapping the Captain Ridge and the Halibut Horst. However. 7. degradation of data quality below the Chalk renders the seismic mapping of the Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic less reliable. Velocity push-down effects can be seen on the Base Tertiary horizon. sand thickness variations and spatial distributions can be constrained by integrating the very tight development well control very closely with the seismic. hence a 14238 km 3D seismic survey was designed and acquired in 1990 over the whole of Block 13/22a. Geophysics The initial structural mapping of the Captain Field was based on a 375 line-krn grid of 2D seismic lines. were recognized as being inadequate. 2 for location). The relatively shallow reservoir target permitted use of multiple short (600 m) cables in the 3D seismic acquisition. - - BASE TEFltlAAV - BASE CRFU. The most successful approach uses a three-layer depth conversion model in the undeveloped part of the . below these low velocity sand mounds. 7). Overlying the Chalk is a sequence of Early Paleocene sands and shales. The current geophysical mapping is based on an interpretation of the 1990 3D seismic data set. North-South seismic section through the Captain Field. throughout the mapped area. In AreaA multiple Top Upper Captain Sandstone and Base Chalk penetrations in the horizontal development wells give a high density of depth data. resedimented chalk horizons. with more typical Maureen Formation turbiditic clastics sourced from the north and west. There are limited stratigraphic data available for the Tertiary in the Western Moray Firth Basin. Unfortunately.

The formation brines are characterized by low total dissolved solids (12-25 000 ppm TDS) with minor quantities of barium. and 150 to 47 cP respectively. This might help to explain why the OWC in the Lower Captain Sandstone is significantly higher than that in the Upper Captain Sandstone of the Eastern Closure. typically fine to medium grained. potassium feldspars (5-8%) and lithics. It also tends to be slightly coarser grained. Detrital clays (smectite and illite) and authigenic clays (predominantly kaolin). R J. typically extending down 16-50 ft into the present day aquifer. Salinity decreases vertically up through the stratigraphy (Lower Wick Sandstone produced water salinity is 25000 ppm TDS. The reservoir oil from the Main and Eastern Closures can generally be described as heavy by North Sea standards with API gravity and in situ viscosity ranging between 19° and 21 0. For producer wells. It is suggested that oil may have leaked into the open fracture systems that are present in the Devonian of the Captain Ridge. comprise 5-10% of the samples. In the Main Closure the reservoirs drape the westerly plunging core of the Captain Ridge. where practical. Reservoir simulation studies confirm that the optimum orientation for the horizontal completions would be parallel to each other. the uncertainty in the location of the roof of the reservoir is the key uncertainty. in situ. The Upper and Lower Captain Sandstones are separated by a shale interval of uniform thickness. Ashphaltine geochemistry suggests the oil was sourced from both the West Halibut Basin and Smith Bank Graben. The stratigraphic element to the trap divides the field into three closure areas. The bulk of the Lower Captain Sandstone has excellent porosity and permeability as in the Upper Captain Sandstone but there are a number of discrete. The base of this zone does not appear to be fiat. It is suggested that the low salinity is a result of dilution of the original formation water (sea-water salinity) by meteoric influxes sourced from the Halibut Horst Fresh water pulses are also assumed to have been responsible for introducing oxygenated waters and bacteria. The Lower Captain Sandstone is predominantly a very fine to fine grained subarkose. to delay initial aquifer water breakthrough and injectors are placed either in the aquifer or close to the base of the reservoir. implying structural tilting since the initial charge. the Mid Captain Shale. indicate that there is a robust stratigraphic seal. Bruce et al. no variation has been seen within a contiguous oil column. Source and migration Evaluation of geochemical data has demonstrated that the organicrich shales of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation are mature for hydrocarbon generation in the basins adjacent to the Captain Field. calcium and strontium. thus maximising cost-effective recovery. Other authigenic phases include siderite. sands and tuffs. To achieve these requirements the risk associated with two critical uncertainties. . Reservoir The majority of the Captain Sandstone Member reservoirs are thick-bedded fine to medium grained sandstones with very little interbedded silt or claystone. during the Tertiary. in areas of the field where aquifer water was produced prior to the start of injection.438 S J. Once in the horizontal section (8~" hole) near-bit logging sensors are used (azimuthal gamma and resistivity. These horizons make up less than 10% of the gross volume of the Lower Captain Sandstone accumulation but they are expected to act as pressure baffles during production. The structure is full to the westerly spill point with an oil-water contact (OWC) of -2992 ft TVDss in the Lower Captain Sandstone and -2982 ft TVDss in the Upper Captain Sandstone.2967 ft TVDss in the Upper Captain Sandstone and -2921 ft TVDss in the Lower Captain Sandstone. fine-grained horizons. average Captain Member native salinity is 13 000 ppm TDS). The residual oil zone also appears to be thicker in the east of the field where the present day contacts are higher. Eastern and Southern Terrace (see Fig. The very different gas-oil contacts (GOC) in these areas. the Captain Sandstones have undergone only minor diagenetic alteration and they are not significantly compacted. thin. resulting in biodegradation of the crude oil. In the east the reservoirs pinch out to the south against the rising Captain Ridge and the fluid contacts are higher. CLITHEROE Trap and top seal The Captain Field is a broad. with the primary phase of charging modelled to have occurred during the early Tertiary. The Upper Captain Sandstone exhibits excellent reservoir characteristics throughout The Lower Captain Sandstone is a little more heterogeneous. The original crude is considered to have been a typical North Sea black oil which has been biodegraded. The primary reason for utilizing horizontal wells is to provide spatial coverage throughout the reservoirs with a relatively small number of wells. Isotopic analysis of samples from the free gas cap around well 13/22a-9A show this has a significant late thermogenic gas component. -2799 ft TVDss in the Main Closure Upper Captain Sandstone and -2723 ft TVDss. PINNOCK & A. The Upper Captain Sandstone also contains free gas caps in both the Main and Eastern Closures. together with polycrystalline quartz. ferroan dolomite and calcite and some leaching and alteration of feldspars has occurred. Depending on the angle of incidence between the shale and the well bore this might entail turning the well trajectory away from the shale or Formation water Representative formation water samples have been obtained from MDT samples. low relief structure covering an area of 9400 acres. Detrital components are dominated by monocrystalline quartz. At the reservoir level the trap is defined by a combination of three-way dip closure and stratigraphic pinch-out. Main. this is constrained in practise by the requirement to drill the wells from a common tophole location. The Eastern Closure is separated from the Main Closure by a structural low that is probably coincident with absence of sand. Log derived water salinities suggest that the formation waters increase in salinity with increasing depth within each reservoir. Fluid samples have been obtained by standard drill-stem tests and wireline sampling from all reservoirs and areas of the Captain Field. Top seal is provided by a combination of the Sola/Redby Shale and the overlying Chalk Group. There is a clear spatial and stratigraphic variation in formation water salinity within these Lower Cretaceous sandstones. However. The layout of the seventeen development wells drilled to date is illustrated on FIgure 4. interpreted as a sandstone absent zone. which contains minor thin Interbedded silts. 1996). the 13(22a-12 water coning test and produced water . Production wells were designed to stay within the top 20 ft of the reservoir. When landing the well in the 12~" hole section the depth conversion risk is controlled by close monitoring of log markers through the Chalk sequence using gamma and resistivity logging-while-drilling sensors located behind the mud motor. While variations are observed between the closure areas. These deposits are interpreted as highdensity turbidity current deposits. Below the present day contacts a zone of residual hydrocarbon saturation occurs. between these two areas of the field. Where a shale is penetrated in a well it is possible to confirm whether it is above or below by using the azimuthal gamma and it is possible to take corrective action immediately. Development The Captain Field is being developed exclusively with horizontal wells with completions ranging from 3500 to 8000 ft in length. 2). the depth to the Base Chalk Unconformity and the detail of the reservoir thickness distribution had to be addressed. The Upper Captain Sandstone has a higher lithic component while still being predominantly subarkosic.

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It is suggested that this topography is the result of an interaction of compactional drape. Captain daily oil production from start-up to end 1998. requiring the drilling of oil zone injectors (Lach 1997). in undamaged wells. The amount of open screen is restricted near the heel of an injector and increased towards the toe Production logging has confirmed that. The continual enhancement of the Captain geological model has allowed optimal placement of new development wells and realistic predictions from reservoir simulation for reservoir management. Captain Field data summary Trap Type Maximum oil column Pay zone Drape anticline/stratigraphic pinch-out 270ft Val hall/Wick Sandstone Captain Sandstone Late Aptian Variable. even drilling extra sidetracks to enhance the data collection (e.0 300 ft 0. this screen configuration results in an even inflow profile. The development of Captain with horizontal wells has provided unusually detailed geological control on the reservoir structure and sand distribution.uuvr----------------------------------------------------------------· . Consequently down-hole chemical injection has been built into the completion design of these wells. for example on the western margin of the Lower Captain Sandstone channel. original depositional relief and post Upper Captain Sandstone scour and erosion of the Captain reservoir sequence. up to 900 ft per hour). This has resulted in close definition of sand pinch-out edges and unexpected sand thin zones in the Upper Captain Sandstone and detailed definition of the western margin of the Lower Captain Sandstone channel.70 (field average) 68-94%. PINNOCK & A. 84% (field average) 19°_21° API 0. ensuring that not all the water entered the formation at the heel of the well where the injection pressure will be high- est. with individual well production rates between 5000 and 20000 BPD gross liquids. 9).440 S. Injectors are ideally placed beneath the oil water contact. To plan these wells a detailed picture of the reservoir thickness distribution is required to accurately constrain the aquifer. CLITHEROE ev.. including a dual corrosion and scale inhibitor line and also a demulsifier capability.-----------.. This was achieved by spacing open screen sections between blank pipe.000 '" r 20. Following hook-up and commissioning of the WPP and the FPSO during the winter of 1996/97 the pre-drilled production wells were brought into operation during March and April 1997.3[% (field average) 1-120.000 Ol'--------L--'-~---__r-M"'Ch NQ7 . the original hole is commonly extended as an information pilot hole.. Field oil production rate reached the design rate of 60 000 BOPD in September 1997 and has remained at or close to this level as additional wells have been brought on stream (Fig.. R. A critical concern for these wells was achieving an even inflow profile. Sand control in injectors is achieved with dual wire-wrapped screens.. As a result parts of the accumulation that are underlain by shale cannot be supported by aquifer injector wells where they are too remote from the aquifer. pilot drilling in both the landing (l2!/f hole) and horizontal (8f' hole) sections have been used to reduce the risk. This has been successful and horizontal sections as long as 8000 ft have been gravel packed. Concerns over productivity performance of some of these completions resulted in a move to water based drilling fluids with open-hole gravel-packs for sand control. 9. consequently injection was initiated two months after first oil production with water from the Lower Wick Sandstone aquifer.g. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution made by many colleagues and the external referees in reviewing the manuscript. pressure waves move very slowly through viscous oil like the Captain crude and pressure maintenance is critical for efficient oil recovery.95 (field average) 28-34%.. Injection of the Lower Wick Sandstone water will continue until the end of field life. pulling the bit back and drilling a low-side sidetrack. analysis of the topographic variation of the Base Chalk Unconformity has been used in conjunction with interpretation of weak discontinuous seismic reflectors within the reservoir sequence to constrain the reservoir isochore in both the developed and undeveloped areas. The data have proved that much of the topographic variation of the Base Chalk Unconformity reflects sandstone thickness variation. Significant water production is forecast to occur from every oil well. up 1. four injectors and one aquifer supply well were operational. Production wells were initially drilled with oil based mud with sand control provided by pre-packed wire-wrapped screens. The Captain development has required long horizontal injectors to be drilled. The development strategy requires full voidage replacement. The authors wish 10 thank the management of Texaco Ltd and Korea Captain Company Ltd for permission to publish this paper. Fig. 40. J.06 RB/STB Formation Member Age Sand body thickness Net/gross ratio Porosity Permeability Oil saturation Hydrocarbons Oil gravity Gas gravity Bubble point Gas/oil ratio Formation volume factor .. 8).. However. By the end of 1998. In the current reservoir modelling. Once a sidetrack decision has been taken. Where injector targets have been located in areas of reservoir thickness uncertainty. Extensive sidetrack drilling has been cost effective in the Captain Field because it has proved unnecessary to isolate the abandoned sections and the horizontal holes are drilled with exceptional penetration rates (average 350 ft per hour. ten production wells.52 glee 1270 psia at 2799 ft TVOss 88-140 SCF/STB 103-1. J. ~---. Fig.

Sub-sea drilling centre tied back to additional processing facilities on a second platform bridge-linked to the Area A drilling centre. 359-369. R. Development of a gas handling hydraulic submersible pump and planning a field trial.S. SPE 8507.A. UNDERHILL.F.. SUTTON. 1997. 1992. UK.J. O'B. condition monitoring and completion systems. Implications of Mesozoic-Recent basin development in the western Inner Moray Firth. In press. (eds) Lithostratigraphic nomenclature of the UK North Sea. deflation in the North Sea: implications of the sequence stratigraphic evidence. water injection March 1997 55000 BOPD increasing to 85-000 BOPD with Area B Area A.A. R. SPE 8510. & HOLLOWAY. Nottingham. & LACH. D.M. J. I. NE Scotland. ROBERTS. J. Captain horizontal development wells: a review of key design and operational issues. A.S. The distribution of Aptian sands in the Central and Northern North Sea (UK Sector) a Lowstand Systems Tract hydrocarbon exploration play. J. Journal of the Geological Society. BEZANT. W. W. D. in press. Marine and Petroleum Geology. PRICE. SPE 8509. 1997. & LOTT.) Petroleum Geology of Northwest Europe: Proceedings of lhe 4th Conference. J. In: PARKER.. . UNDERHILL. 1997. PALLENT. A. Captain Field development project overview. & CORDEY. SPE 8511. 1990. R. M. SPE 30437. G. M. COHEN. SPE 8512. & DALLAS. R. Captain Field. 1997. 2. In press. K.S. & HUCK. (ed.P. COHEN. & PARTINGTON. JOHNSON. (eds) Lithostratigraphic nomenclature of the UK North Sea. Part I: Stratigraphy.H. Reservoir engineering aspects of the Captain extended well lest appraisal program.J. J. BADLEY. ETE8AR. M. 1995.3940hm-m @ SJOF 8TF 1340psi at OWC (-2992ft 0..W. The structural history of a transtensional basin: Inner Moray Firth. 147. UK North Sea: appraisal and development of a viscous oil accumulation. j_ Paleogene of the Central and S Northern North Sea. E. W. J. J. J. 1991. . KNOX. . London. LACH. 0'8. 1993. Captain Field reservoir development planning and horizontal well performance.J. 8. COLE.D. Area B. W.. M. Captain Field electric submersible pump.400 psi. 337-345.W. D. & PINNOCK. In: Proceedings of the 1996IADCjSPE Drilling Conference. E. The Captain Field. Process equipment for offshore viscous crude handling: Captain Field. R. P. British Geological Survey. Geological Society. References BRUCE. Journal of Petroleum Geology. 1997. Nottingham. R.S. 1997. R. & KIRK. 1996. in press. Petroleum Geoscience. Jurassic thermal doming and J M.M. A review of three years work in Europe and Africa with an Instrumented Motor.CAPTAIN Formation water Salinity Average resistivity for Captain reservoir Reservoir conditions Temperature Pressure Oil Gradient Field size Area Recovery factor Oil-in-place Reserves Drive mechanism Production First oil Plateau production Development scheme FIELD 441 12000-25000 ppm TDS 0. 1993. In: KNOX. O'B. British Geological Survey. G. & CORDEY. J. SPE 8508. 87-103. J. R. & CLITHEROE. R. In: KNOX. S. PINNOCK. TAVENDAlE. age determination and genesis of the sandstones. 147-156. CRITTENDEN. Cretaceous of the Central and Northern North Sea. G. COHEN. J.ft TVDss) 9400 acres 20-40% 1000 MMBBL 300-350 MMBBL Full voidage replacement. One manned well head platform tied back to floating offshore storage and production vessel..

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