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The Shearwater Field – understanding the overburden above a geologically complex and pressure-depleted high-pressure and high-temperature field

By
D. W. Jones
D. W. Jones
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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B. J. Taylor
B. J. Taylor
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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C. E. Gill
C. E. Gill
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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M. Bevaart
M. Bevaart
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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P. F. van Bergen
P. F. van Bergen
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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J. S. Watson
J. S. Watson
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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S. De Gennaro
S. De Gennaro
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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M. Hodzic
M. Hodzic
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

The Shearwater Field, located in Block 22/30b in the UK Central Graben, remains one of the best-known fields in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). At the time of the initial development, Shearwater represented one of the most complex and technically challenging high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) developments of its kind in the North Sea. During the early life of the field, pressure depletion resulted in compaction of the Fulmar reservoir, leading to mechanical failure of the development wells. The compaction also resulted in weakening of the overburden due to an effect known as stress arching. Over time, this resulted in in situ stress changes in the overburden which have been observed from 4D seismic datasets and are in line with geomechanical modelling. This is particularly true for the Hod Formation in the Chalk Group, and resulted in the need to make changes to infill well design, including the use of new drilling technologies, to ensure safe and effective well delivery. The insights presented here, which relate to the understanding of pore pressure and fluid fill in the overburden, and how the overburden has responded to stress changes over time, are of relevance to current and future HPHT field developments in both the UK North Sea and elsewhere.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Petroleum Geology of NW Europe: 50 Years of Learning – Proceedings of the 8th Petroleum Geology Conference

M. Bowman
M. Bowman
University of Manchester, UK
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B. Levell
B. Levell
University of Oxford, UK
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
8
ISBN electronic:
9781786203151
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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