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SPE: overcoming the challenges of heavy oil production

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Oilfield Technology,

Some of the world’s largest oil reserves are heavy oil reservoirs. Production of these reservoirs presents significant economic and technological challenges resulting in few of these deposits being developed extensively.

The Bentley heavy oil field was discovered in 1977 and is one of the largest undeveloped fields in the North Sea. Xcite Energy holds and operates 100% of the Bentley field located in Block 9/3b, which is estimated to contain around 885 MMstb with 267 MMstb recoverable from a two phase development.

To discuss the approach and progress of the field development, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section is delighted to welcome Mr Barny Brennan, Subsurface Director of Xcite Energy Resources, to its next evening dinner presentation.

Mr Brennan joined the company in 2008 having previously worked in both major oil company and consultancy roles. His industry experience spans 30 years across a variety of exploration and development projects.

The presentation will describe the key reservoir and fluid properties, how these have influenced the planned field development, and some of the key challenges that have been overcome to produce offshore heavy-oil cost-effectively.

Commenting ahead of his presentation, Mr Brennan said: “Offshore heavy oil offers a significant opportunity for long-term future North Sea production.  In the presentation, I will discuss how our understanding of the characteristics of the Bentley field, in particular its fluid properties and recovery mechanism, has played a key role in developing the cost effective concept that we have selected.”

Ian Crossland, Co-chair of SPE Aberdeen Programme Committee added: “Heavy oil recovery offshore is most definitely a current and technical theme for many of our members. In such a challenging time in the industry, a number of operators in the UK are trying to find or implement the most cost effective solution and one that is sustainable over many years.

“There is already evidence of cross pollination of ideas and collaboration in this area and I believe Mr Brennan’s presentation, on the Bentley field specifically, will strengthen our members understanding in their technical approach and the challenges they face moving forward.”

The presentation will take place on Wednesday 27 April at the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel from 6.30 - 8.30 pm. For more information, click here:  

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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