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SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS OF AIME

&%SPE

6200 North Central Expressway

2639

Dallas, Texas 75206
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The Delineation
Council/Amoco

and
Group

Development
North
Sea

of the Gas
Leman
Field

By
Ronald J. Cole, boco

Europe WC.) and Charles R. M=’shall~ Amoco U.K. petrole~ Ltd”>
Members Am
@

American

Institute

of Mining,

Copyrighi
Metallurgical,

1969
and

Petroleum

Engineers,

Inc.

This paper was prepared for the h4th Annual Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers
of AIME, to be held in Denver, Colo., Sept. 28-Ott. 1, 1969. Permission to copy is restricted to an
abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrationsmay not be copied. The abstract should contain
conspicuous acknowledgmentof where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after
publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JCURNAL is
usually granted upon recluestto the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give
proper credit is made.
Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the
Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and,
with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE ma.ga.zincs.
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The Leman field was discovered by the
Shell/Esso group in March, 1966, when they
drilled their initial exploratory well in the
British North Sea approximately 60 miles NNE
of Great Yarmouth, England. This discovery well
found 900 ft of Rotliegendes sandstone at a
depth of approximately 5,900 ft subsea. The
well was initially tested at a flow rate of 25
MMcf/D in June of 1966. IMring June, 1966, the
Gas Council/AmocoGroup moved a jack-up type
drill barge into U.K. North Sea Block 49/27’and
spudded a field confirmationwell 5.5 miles ESE
of the Shell/Esso discovery well. This well
was ultimately completed in Sept., 1966, and
tested at a rate of approximately 25 MMcf/D.
Subsequent delineation drilling by the
ShelJ./EssoGroup, Mobil, Arpet Group, Phillips,
Signal and the Gas Council/AmocoGroup has now
established that the Lemam field is just over
20 miles long md 8 miles wide at its center
covering an area of about 65)400 acres or 102
sq miles as shown in Fig. 1. The Rotliegendes
sandstone which makes up the pay interval in the
Leman field is of Early Permian age and is
encountered at a subsea depth of approximately
6,OOO ft. This saadstone is thought to have
been originally deposited by swift flowing
streams on alluvial desert plains and later
reworked by wind into dunal-type deposits.
The Leman field structure is basically a
References and illustrationsat end of paper.

Rotliegendes
a grOSS
sandstone thickness of 800 to 1,000 ft. The
faulting apparent in the Leman field is of a
tensional nature, but because of the great
thickness of the reservoir zone, the faults do
not appear to be sealing. The coqplete
Rotliegendes sandstone appears to be composed
entirely of sand with a great variation in
grain size distribution. No continuous impermeable layers or shale breaks are apparent in
the Rotliegendes section, and the net gas productive sand section is normally the gross smd
section found above the water level.
f%l!lt.=d
.-...”. ~nt.irline
—. --.—. wifjh

The wide variation in porosity found in
the Rotliegendes sandstone is attributed to the
dunal-type deposition of the sand. The dunal
working of the sand leads to the creation of
areas where very fine grained sand has accumulated, thus creating areas of very low porosity
and permeability. As a general trend, it has
been noted that normally the highest porosity
within the Rotliegendes pay section occurs at
the crest of the Leman field structure. Also a
porosity trend is noted along the major axis of
the field with lower porosity and permeability
being foumd in the northwest sector of the
field.
In approximately 90 percent of the early
field delineation wells, the entire Rotliegende
sand was conventionallycored, thus a great
amount of actual reservoir rock has been available for study by the various interested

and 9-5/8-in. In order to design intelligently a gas handling and processing system adequate to deliver the Leman field gas to the British market. the landing joint on the mudline suspension was partially released in order EWE 253! that the cement in the 30-in. the 30-in.Au. T!histechnique allowed us. casing. before any hilling could be done in the Rotliegendes sandstone. Our own organization has processed more than 3. 13-3/8-in.m. a 12-lllk-ill. This 15-I% stub of 30-in. A sketch of the basic casing program utilized in these field delineation wells is shown in Fig. annulus could be circulated out and the annulus above the mud-line suspension left filled with mud. . to back off all of the casing except the 30-in.i~ driven CQ@UCtOr casing allowed for the drilling of a 26-in.2 THE DELINEATION AND DEVELWMENT OF THE GAS COUNCIL/AMOCO GRC P NORTH sEA ‘LEMANl?iELD parties. Normally a high mud weight [approximately3. conductor casing extending above the sea bottom allowed for a fixed platform to be subsequently installed over the well for ultimate completion of the field delineation well as a gas producer. The Gas Council/Amoco Group utilized the mud-line suspension system to hang their ‘X-in.5 lb/gsl] was carried while drilling the Zechsteil Evaporite series as a safeguard against abnormal formation pressures which had been encountered by Shell in their discovery well when porous zones within the !kchstein Evaporit< were encountered. conductor casing was subsequently cut off approximately 15 ft above the mud line. After setting the 9-5/8-in.+i~g L. x 20-in. The 30-in.. A 7-in.A u. liner was then normally run smd cemented across the Rotliegendes pay section.000 ft where 20-in. a normal wellhead assembly was utilized.000 samples during the past 2 yeare in an effort to gain a better insight as to any possible relationship between porosity. conductor casing was initially driven to a depth of approximately 150 f% below the mud l+nla A&-.. III drilling these field delineation wells from a Jack-up type drilling barge.. ~~ ~pl~ITlavne . protective casing was set and cemented.-.200 ft in the Basal Bunter shale section where 13-3/8in. casing at the top of the Rotliegendes sandstone~ the complete Rotliegendes sandstone was then cored and the well normally bottomed at the first coal seem encountered in the Carboniferouf sand and siltstone section immediatelybelow th[ Rotliegendes sandstone. EXPLORATORY AND DELINEATION DRILLING The first four wells drilled by the Gas Council/AmocoGroup on the Lemem field structure had as a primary objective the evaluation of the Leman field gas reserves in a minimum length of time. The field delineation wells were planned in such a manner that the size of the Gas Council/AmocoGroup Wan field gas reserves could be adequately determined while still allowing a portion of the field delineation wells to be subsequently completed as field development wells. A sketch of the normal lithological section penetrated by the Leman field wells is shown in Fig. T. casing at this point in order to seal off the serious loss circulation intervals normally encountered in the Bunter sandstone section immediately above the Basal Bunter shale.--. The Gas Council/AmocoGroup chose tQ use a Jack-up tyye drilling barge for field delineation drilling. ~.+-2 Twenty=iQ_ easing va~ set. 2.1. a 17-1 2-in. u . hole was then drilled to approximately ( . grain size distribution and productivity. 2. After drilling out of the ~3-3/8-in. A sketch of the system .at seb ad Lqcuu=u. ‘-’LLUAC ““ wo. After cementing. upon completion of the delineationwell. which contained long salt sections. ~~~ ~~~i~~ ~~~i~sj ~X~ra efforts were made to ensure that the annular space above the mud-line suspension unit was completely-free of aay cement. thus allowing for later completion as development wells. it was highly desirable to obtain significant flow tests on the Leman field wells at an early date in order to determine per well productivity and produced gas characteristics. hole to a depth of approximately 1..MJbu. casing. only approximately 10 to 15 percent of the casing weight was set on the various casing hangers in the surface wellhead with the remainder of the weight supported by the mud-iine suspension unit. casing smd located at a point approximately 15 ft below the mud line.. However. IMring this early phase of field development it was believed necessary to case off the Zechstein Evaporite series. The technique used by the Gas Council/Amoco Group has proved very effective in that two of the initial field delineation wells have already been completed as producing wells by locating a 12-well self-containeddrilling platfonu over each well and extending the well back to the surface for production. casing set immediately above the top of the Wtliege?hles sandstone..-A ?.~ A*+ll. conductor at a point approximately 15 ft below the mud line and install a corrosion cap over the mud-line suspension equipment. this depth in an effort to seal off the glacial till section between 700 and 800 ft and the unconsolidated sands above in which loss circulation and hole-sloughingproblems would have been encountered had drilling been attempted below this point without casing. After setting the 20-in. a mud-line suspension system was utilized for hanging the well casing at the sea bottom. Normally these abnormal pressure zones contained either high pressure salt water or gas. As seen in the illustration.. It was necessary to set the 13-3/8-in. Deck of the jack-up drilling rig. The initial section of the mud-line suspension system was installed on the 20-in.u ~~_m~l@hA ~~~ re~~i~- ing Basal Bunter shale and the Zechstein Evaporite series and 9-5/8-in.. casing was . casing at a point approximately 15 ft below the mud line.

the Gas Council/ Amoco Group was able to develop intelligently E field development program which would allow fox the delivery of natural gas to the coast of the United R%ngdom at a minimum cost. Aa seen in this sketch.000-ft depth. it was necessary to conduct lengthy production tests utilizing portable production test equipment installed on the jack-up drill barge. To obtain these tests a production test string similar to that shown in Fig. The minimum selfcontained drilling platform decided on by the Gas Council/AmocoGroup utilizes an 8-pile structure having a drilling deck dimension of 70 x 140 ft.500 ft apart.SPE 2639 RONALD J. L VS. It was necessary to further gas analysis and pressure buildup data. additional spacing studies were carried out utilizing the two-dimensional dry gas mathematical reservoir simulator developed by R. The gas was then passed through a three-phase horizontal separator at capable of handling approximately 28 Wcf/D an operating pressure of approximately 550 psi.l It was obviously desirable. a normal full-bore test packer was utilized in conjunctionwith the drill pipe string to flow the formation fluids to surface.SUtiliZd so that the well could be tested in a mintium length of time with maximum safety for the rig and its personnel. EVALUATION OF ROTLIEGENDES SANDSTONE PRODUCTIVITY Results from preliminary interference calculationsusing Leman field data indicated that. sufficient cement and cast-iron bridge plugs were installed in the well so that abcmdonment work could be perfo~ue~ by diyers without the assistance of a drilling rig. the interwell interference effects would be small. investigate drainage efficiency that would result from crestal drilling throughout the Ikn?ingseveral of the extended tests on field delineation wells. a msximum well deviation of bj~jO ft horizontally is required. The platform size necessitated the use of a highly compact drilling rig capable of directional drilling to a measured depth of approximately 8.00C ft apart. On the surface. attempt to determine the relative productivity of the various perforated intervals within the Rotliegendes sandstone. 3. This type investigationwas mad( possible by the mathematical reservoir production logging tool was utilized in am . MARSliALL utilized in completing these field delineation wells is shown in Fig. Prior to backing off the various casing strings and installation of the corrosion cap. conductor casing at a point 10 to 15 ft below the mud line. D. As shown by Fig.lineheater which would be heated with either a gas burner or a steam generator.500-ft diamond pattern appeared practical if platforms were located some l1. PIANI?INGAND DESIGN*OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AND EQUIPMENT Utilizing tinetest data and reservoir date obtained from the drilling smd testing of the Leman field delineation wells. when this 2. The Rotliegendes reservoir parameters in conjunctionwith the economics of multiwell drilling from a single platform indicated that the opti. to locate wells for periods of 5 to 7 days and obtaining very accurate absolute open flow potential data. The above system was utilized in testing from a producing well standpoint. Carter. The gas produced from the well was directed initially to sa indirect. In an effort to evaluate the relative productivity of the Rotliegendes ssmdstone in the Leman field in the shortest time possible. 5.200 ft while achieving optimum drilling characteristics.500ft diamond patterm is used from a 10-well drilling platform. Shortly after initiation of drilling from the first Gas Council/Amocoself-contained platform. A perforated tail pipe assembly was run below the production packer in which bottom-hole pressure bombs could be landed during the production tests. However. thus leaving the sea battorncompletely clear of obstruction. wells in areas of thickest pay along the crest of the anticline. This result in a maximum average well deviation angle of 4: from vertical assuming deviation is initiated at 1. These minimw self-containedplatforms have proved to be very successful in that only 5 to 7 percent of the available working time has been lost due to inclement weather conditions preventing the delivery of needed material or equipment to the well site.munfor the Amoco Group was to drill 10 to 12 directional wells from a single selfcontained drilling platform. if wells were drilled 2. The gas from the separator was then metered and vented through a 6-in. COLE and CHARLES R. should future circumstances dictate abandonment before completion. Coverage of the crestal portion of the reservoir on a 2. a wireline combination license block. Divers could accomplish the final abandonment of the temporarily suspended well by blowing off the 30-in. This size structure allowed space for 12 well slots. vent line bolted to and extending about 20 ft above the top of the derrick. the well stresm was handled through a special control head similar to that utilized in normal drillstem testing activities. this control head normally consisted of two master valves and aiiow for the running pressure.

. Thus it became appar~-_——---ent that all production equipment should be designed to operate with a minimum amount of maintenance ad as little onsite supervision as possible. DEVELOPMENTWELL COMPLETION In drilling md completing Leman field development wells. Additional runs of the program were also made to further evaluate interference. [3] well deliverability curves.uup license.tIO Sll . Use of the 7-5/8in.. A sketch of a typical Gas Council/AmocoGroup development well and its associated completion equipment is shown in Fig.--=-S.. PLGU..-16-in. hydraulically set production packer is designed to allow installation of bottom-hol( pressure bombs for extended periods without having a wireline inside the tubing. the same ultimate field recovery sad similar interwell interference characteristicscould be realized by use of a 1. completion allowed for optimum drilling conditions while still allowing use of k-1/2-in. the Gas Council/AmocoGroup reverted to a casing progrsm consisting of 24in.. In addition to these limitations set by the North Sea . OD production tubing. Council/AmocoGroup license could be efficiently drained by crestal development.production SPE 2639 casing set through Rotliegendespay section.500-ft diamond pattern discussed previously.-1 -. The significance of the spacing calculations done to date. Maximum drainage and minimum interference are possible over a wide range of development patterns. UY = FL@raUlically set tubing hsmger installed immediately below the subsurface safety valve and the tubing above the subsurface safety valve is free standing and only sealed off in the wellhead by standard sealing elements.-a+ 1 Ifimnfin tiuuuLLL/mlluLu o-n....500-ft diamond pattern is also shown in Fig. The .000 ft. [4] drilling sequence md well locations..2 As it is possible to program any assumed development plan..--. W2D na. ml.+’#. tubing. +-b. GAS PROCESSING EQUIPMENT In the British North Sea. This bottom-hole pressure bomb hinging system has been utilized several times during the initial completion of field developmentwells with great success.. 6. [2] hydrocarbon pore volume distribution. . for extended neriods of 2 to j weeks..-. x 5-1/2-in.##....wL. optimum development can be determined by observing the effect of various development patterns on the recovery from the license block Results of these subsequent runs indicated that if the spacing between individual platfoms was maintained at 11. The subsurface safety valve is operated by power oil being furnished through the annulus formed by the 4-1/2-in. that the studies discussed above apply only to the Gas Council/AmocoGrouF license and not necessarily to the remainder of the field. the minimum size production tubing which could be utilized was determined to be 4-1/2-in. Numerous runs using the Carter progrem with ~mm field data showed that the Gas. U. is the indicated flexibility available for developing the field. Auother problem associated with the North Sea location was the relatively low sea water “temperatureencountered during the winter months.. Thus. conductor. The progra utilized is written for single-phasegas reservoir only. Fressure gradients at abandonment conditions were less than 75 psi across the license block..500-ft diamond pattern for individual wells from each platform as with the uniform 2.k. .. as they relate to future 2-. The progrm uses an alternating direction explicit procedure for obtaining a numerical solution of the linear diffusion equation. This arrangement allows for the complete wellhead to be ripped off the well in event of a disaster while leaving the tubing string virtually undisturbed below the sea bottom.4-2 enxu-e Luumg sbLLfJg AS bUppUL-KU k. the transmission of any gas with a hydrate point higher than 40°F would be impossible. This pattern allows for optimum drilling economics and maximum average hole angles of approximately 28° from vertical..JU. pc~-uucl. A schematic of the 1.!-. During this period the sea water temperatures fall as low as 40°F.-. the Gas Council/Amoco Group Leman field developmentwells are equippet with fluid operated subsurface safety valves located at approximately 350 ft [150 ft below mud line].500-ft pattern are significant and present development on the Gas Council/Amoco Group license utilizes this cluster-typedrilling. tubing string above the safety valve.. As shown in Fig.___ -*—*-. The savings resulting from the reduced hole angle and drilled footage of the 1. however. This data is digitized on a grid system which was chosen as approximately 15 acres for the Leman field. The tail pipe assembly below the 3-1/2-in.. 6. The required input for the computer progrsm includes: [1] KH distribution.--. It should be emphasized. and 10-3/4-ir protective casing and 7-5/t$-in... Or ~Qdi~171~Gt In the North Sea area.4 GAS THE DELINEATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNCIL/AMOCO GRO1 NORTH SEA LEMAN FIELD simulator.. it is not unusual during the winter months to have sea conditions with wave heights of 15 to 20 f%. . Llllc m. In order to obtain the required maximum per well productivity of 40 to 50 MMcf/D from the Leman field development wells.. extended periods of inclement weather conditions are experienced during the winter months with sea conditions which prevent the normal offloading of either -. 5. x 7-5/8-in. followed by.*----L. and [5] production schedule.”+ ucvc_Lupulcul/ -m UJ.

. COLE and CHARLES R.. Macartney. Where possible the line was buried to a depth of approximatelyh ft below the sea bottom in an effort to prevent any future damage by surface shipping or fishing activities in the area. glycol-absorptionequipment is being .. Communication 793. H.625 in.: “How a Computer Can Assist Well Spacing in the North Sea”.5 bbl of condensateper MMscf.vinu upper deck ~ -4T. Q~~IuI-~ Qf the Leman In order for continuous field production to be maintained throughout all weather conditions.. 19691. Unfortunately..y to Production”. D. D.. 50. At the Bacton onshore terminal site. 24. J. In order to achieve this objective. Kelehe~ J. =son.the sole gas purchaser in the United Kingdom requires delivery of natural gas at a pressure of 1.m+. and Shimmiel Barry: “Automationsmd Production Facilit Leman Field”.. on a -1. with acceptable water and hydrocarbon dew points.Luu p_LG. Inst.A. Pet Ehg. each of the drilling platforms which will reduce the water content of the gas delivered to the gas transmission line to 3.World Pet.-+4nw U-clllizea &lruuuLL.000 psi. MARSHAIL SPE 2639 environment. Carter. 12. pipeline has a wall thickness of 0. Ian: “Productionof North Sea Gas from the Leman Bank Field to Bacton”.. connected to the drilling platform by a 130-ft bridge. Cronen. Paper OTC 1014 presented at 1st Annual Offshore Technology Conference Houston [May 18-21.from Discove. processing and transmission of Leman field gas has been automated so Vne complete operatian can be monitored and controlled from the onsho Bacton terminal. a propane refrigerant system is utilized to bring the incoming natural gas down to the required hydrocarbon dewpoint specifications. of Gas Eng. pipeline has been installed to connect the Gas Council/AmocoGroup Leman field production platforms with the onshore Bacton gas delivery terminal at a distance of 38 miles This 30-in. No.bLb. _-_2. ~Q . A jO-in. R. 1969] 9. No. A single man through use of telemetric data transmission and computerized monitoring md control is able to effectively control the production from any and all Leman field development wells on an individual basis REFE~N~S 1. 1966] 35-45.+fmm saf+inr. 5.RONALD J. This production platform.--~ ~~e~-~~~ dimensions of 100 x 125 ft.: “PerformancePredictions for Gas Reservoirs Considering TwoDimensional Uhsteady-StateFlow”. .. K. -+rn. [March. 2.6 depending on water depth. field gas. F. is a h. “.: ‘The Leman Field . [Nov 19681 39.. . 3.” LAU!J-”. 5. R.-.-n u-pAAG U. W. . On this production platfom all free condensate collected while removing the water from the natural gas is returned to the gas system for future removal at the onshore terminal.. Sot. The Gas Council/AmocoGroup chose to utilize a totally automated gas-processing system wherein all the required water vapor would be removed at the offshore site and the excess hydrocarbons removed at the onshore gas sales terminal.nn+. and is composed of X-52 steel and weighted to a specific gravity of 1.-. 4. The gas produced from the Leman field contains only 1 to 1. A. Oil and Ga Into [my.5 lb of water per ljQOO cu ft of gas [water dew point of 15°F]... the complete control of production. Redick.2 to 1. the condensate in the gas produced from the Leman field has proved to be an economic liability due to the extremely dry “.

. DRIVEPIP2 ?[~ a -270’ II ~GSU5PENS10N Gas MUDLINE ... 20<’x 133/e”X9%’ . .lc ..S6: . . OUATENARY lf- . . Fig. -5000’ Ss ZECHSTEIN EVAPORATES z ~ : & -6000’ .. & c=~ Iithologic well =ar+inn -“”----- SS Ss {’69 .. LINER a ‘?mo’ CARBONIFERous _. MUULIN~ BELOW . >“s. 1 .IKwE1’ms “K.----J -. APPRC2X..T II cASIW DRILLINGWEU w~ : *20’ i sEA ~.Outline Field map located of in U.I ROTLIEGENDES SAND –7000’ 7..02 C2..SEALEVCL O a KEUPER L Al ‘lo@’ -Iocw ~ Ss 7! BUNTER SAND : ~ -4000 b BUNTER SHALE Ss .t~~. .Typicai section and casing Leman Field delineation program. E O&Od E “o~ o 0 8 (2J.lz. Bank North ! i II BOTTOM 30. 2 . Fig.. Leman K.AN”... wELL 0 Sea. .ES .

LINER NIPPLE =RFoRATED FOR TEsT BHP BOMBS INTERVAL -7° Fig.AT’ filllll —- .Sketch 3 system of mud W. 1 ne suspension suspension. 1s. . 4- Test delineation string wells drilling used in testing from jackup rig...— ri 111111 I. !///1 9%’’CASING 7’”x 31k’’ F&L SORE TEST ~li 0 3%” 0 0 81X! WITH 4 RETRIEvABLE PACKER PERFORATED TUBING HOLES PER FOOT 0 0 2 / — 0 0 0 J 3“ LANDING 78. Qn F J ‘/ — —BLOW I .. PREvENTERS OUT PIPE DRILL .s’ CON TROL 3112” ID 5(Y3O PSl PIPE CONNECTIONS HEAD WITH DRILL II // Tlllil 8 —31A ID.-d -----1 Wiosm CAP TIE BACK CONNECTOR _ / ) DURING WELL DRILLING SUSPENDED COMPLETED WELL OPERATIONS Fig. during drilling. . and completion of field delineation we.[. oUTLET RIG FLOOR @ 8 ~ 11111 LJJ IIJ w ~.

.Sketch em.‘i I .. Fig.5’00 F221 OIAMOND PATTERN 0’ ZS. 5 . - CASING VALVE LAN OING NIPPLE plPE 75/8” TUBING HYORAULIC sELECTIVE ANCHOR NIPPLE LANOING CASING -700’ “ CASING -4100 TUBING *---::::::VEEU:A::G:G -6000 ‘PPLE _Ht––––– 3Y2° x II RI 0 0 0 0 75/8’’ HYoRAuLlc PROOUTION -li-- —3y2° — PEFORATEO RETRIEVABLE PACKER TUBING 34/2” SELECTIVE LANDING NlppLE 7a/Pro ductiomoN CASING sTRING M---- v ____-.Typical downhole used casing completion in Amoco-Group development program equipment Leman well. -250’ - Field.00 FEE. 4’/2” 5~2’ 1500’ cnnsifiered ----.0 0 PERFORATIONS PRODUCTION 0 0 Lk Fig.. 2500? and . .w. 6 ...fiinm apaullly of nn++ernc pw. in Leman 5000 4Y2° TUBING SAFETY PSI - inter-well fQr - USE? PACKOFF x INLET POWER OIL JOINT FLUSH SAFETY ORIVE TREE CHRISTMAS VALVE 11111111111 iJullul!!!!~pz. Field and . ‘a\ I ! .. D!AMONO PATTER?.-.