The Captain Field, Block 13/22a, UK North Sea
S. J. Pinnock, A. R. J. Clitheroe, P. T. S. Rose, 2003. "The Captain Field, Block 13/22a, UK North Sea", United Kingdom Oil and Gas Fields Commemorative Millennium Volume, J. G. Gluyas, H. M. Hichens
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The Captain Field is located in Block 13/22a in the Western Moray Firth Basin of the UK North Sea, 80 miles NE of Aberdeen in a water depth of 340 ft. 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 87°F. 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-10). 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 50 000 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 85 000 BOPD.