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Remaining resources in mature basins, such as the southern North Sea (SNS), are often associated with complex or unconventional reservoirs. Unlocking the value of these resources requires non-conventional approaches to the description and the development of the reservoir. Originally developed as a conventional reservoir, the Hoton field in the SNS delivers economic rates from a tight and fractured Lower Leman Sandstone. The northern part of the field is developed via a trilateral producer, but the field’s southern half, which appraisal drilling showed to consist of poor-quality rock, was deemed too tight for development. Roughly 40% of the field’s resource of dry gas lies within the southern part of the field with no plans to develop it. A reassessment of the southern area’s potential using geomechanical tools suggests that it also could deliver commercial well rates, similar to those experienced in the northern area of the field. A combination of structural restorations using Dynel2D and forward deformation modelling using Poly3D produces palaeostress predictions, which are used to constrain a discrete fracture network model. From these, well profiles are generated that suggest that a development well into the southern part of the field can recover about half of the currently stranded resource.

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