The discovery and appraisal of Glenlivet: a West of Shetlands success story
Catherine Horseman, Alwyn Ross, Steve Cannon, 2014. "The discovery and appraisal of Glenlivet: a West of Shetlands success story", Hydrocarbon Exploration to Exploitation West of Shetlands, S. J. C. Cannon, D. Ellis
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The Glenlivet gas field was discovered in 2009 with well 214/30a-2, drilled to test a seismically defined stratigraphic and faulted closure at intra-Tertiary level. A sequence of gas-bearing Vaila Formation sands was penetrated comprising high-density turbidite flows with excellent reservoir properties. The discovery was immediately appraised by two sidetracks that tested the updip and downdip extent of the accumulation: the downdip location penetrated the water leg of the field. A comprehensive programme of data acquisition was carried out on all three penetrations, leading to a series of post-well studies designed to fully appraise the field. Based on post-drilling seismic interpretation and extensive analysis of the well data, a revised depositional model was formulated that allowed the construction of a robust 3D static model used in development planning.
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This volume addresses the challenges facing explorers and developers alike in a region that is becoming a major focus of the petroleum industry in the United Kingdom, Faroes and North Norway. Several West of Shetland fields are still in the appraisal phase almost a decade after discovery. Sub-volcanic exploration risks remain high: sub-volcanic structural traps are imaged poorly, and so the geophysical community is responding with the application of latest technology. The more simple reservoirs might not be large enough to prompt informed and speedy development decisions; larger fields might have a combination of complexities, requiring a phased approach to the development. Infrastructure has been slow to arrive and planned developments have been subject to dramatic swings in fiscal regime ranging from special allowances to unexpected tax increases.
Environmental challenges are significant when moving into more remote, deeper water. The perception of these challenges by the third parties has become much more acute. To sustain its right to operate, the industry has to demonstrate safe drilling operations and appropriate response capability with government agencies.