October Field: The Latest Giant under Development in Egypt's Gulf of Suez
Jeffrey J. Lelek, David B. Shepherd, Denise M. Stone, A. Shawky Abdine, 1992. "October Field: The Latest Giant under Development in Egypt's Gulf of Suez", Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade 1978-1988, Michel T. Halbouty
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October field, the third largest oil field in Egypt, produced over 420 million bbl of oil from its discovery in 1977 until January 1991. It is the northernmost giant oil field in the Gulf of Suez rift basin. Forty-five wells from eight platforms in approximately 58 m (190 ft) of water drain over 3703 ha (9150 ac) of the October producing trend. Recent reservoir discoveries demonstrate the viability of continuing exploration along this oil-rich trend.
This structurally trapped field is a complex of rotated fault blocks typical of rift basins worldwide. A northwest-trending normal fault with a throw of approximately 1220 m (4000 ft) has trapped the largest of several oil accumulations, which has a 333-m (1092-ft) oil column on the upthrown eastern side. Severe seismic multiple problems resulting from thick Miocene evaporites restrict definition of the highly productive prerift section. These same evaporites serve as the ultimate seal throughout the Gulf of Suez. Approximately 95% of field reserves are within Carboniferous to Lower Cretaceous massive Nubia Sandstones, with remaining reserves in more lenticular Upper Cretaceous sands, basal Miocene rift-fill Nukhul Formation clastics, and the Asl Member of the Miocene Upper Rudeis Formation.
Several distinct reservoir accumulations exist, with the deepest and most significant original oil-water contact at -3558 m (-11,670 ft) subsea. October field oil gravities range from 14 to 39° API. The main source rock unit for the field is postulated to be the Campanian Brown Limestone Member of the Sudr Formation. Typical reservoir parameters for the Nubia Formation are: porosity, 17%; permeability, 236 md; and net pay thickness, 137 m (450 ft). The expected recovery factor is 45%. A field-wide reservoir study is currently in progress to address reservoir management of the October area. GUPCO (the joint operating company for Amoco Production Company and the Egyptian General Petroleum Company) operates October field, which from all reservoirs produced approximately 170,000 BOPD at the beginning of 1991.
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The success of Memoir 14 and the worldwide interest shown for data on giant fields prompted AAPG to schedule a symposium on giant fields at the end of each subsequent decade. The 1968-78 symposium was held in Houston, Texas, April 1-4, 1979, and the papers were published in AAPG Memoir 30, December 1980.
The Stavanger Conference "Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade: 1978-1988" was held in Stavanger, Norway, September 9-12, 1990, and is a continuation of the Giants of the Decade series.
Scientific studies and projections of future world energy demand indicate that although alternative-energy fuel sources must be actively pursued and developed, there also must be adequate petroleum supplies to bridge the gap. For the international petroleum industry, the years covered by this conference, 1978-88, were complex. They were years of boom and bust. The world's energy consciousness was boosted sharply by the effects of the 1979 Iranian revolution and the resulting embargo, which sent world oil prices to record heights. Global petroleum exploration soon surged, leading to the industry's all-time drilling high in 1981. Then came the oil price collapse in 1985, and the following years were characterized by falling oil prices and drastic budget cuts for exploration and development.
Although exploration dropped sharply during the latter part of the decade, there was a steady flow of giant oil and gas field discoveries. Using the giant field designation criteria of 500 million bbl of oil recoverable for fields in Asiatic Russia, North Africa, and the Middle East,