Apache Corp announced this week record initial production rates from a development well on the Forties field in the UK North Sea. Charlie 4-3 commenced production at a rate of 12,567 bbl/day – the highest initial production rate in the Forties since 1990.
Apache acquired a new 4D (time-lapse) seismic survey over Forties last year that enhanced the company’s ability to identify accumulations of bypassed oil. Charlie 4-3 and Delta 3-5, the eighth and ninth development wells brought on production at Forties during 2011, successfully targeted two of those accumulations. Delta 3-5 commenced production at 8,781 bbl/day.
Additional 4-D driven targets are being identified across the field. Apache expects to drill a total of 16 wells in the Forties field during 2011.
When Apache acquired Forties in 2003, the field was producing 40,000 bbl/day. With the onset of these new wells in mid-June, gross daily production rates have reached as high as 70,000 bbl/day of oil equivalent. At the Charlie platform alone, Apache development drilling has increased production from a low of less than 5,000 bbl/day in 2006 to a present rate of approximately 30,000 bbl/day. Apache expects full transmission capacity to become available during Q3 this year as planned repair and maintenance work is completed and the Bravo pipeline comes back online.
“The safe and very successful delivery of our 2011 drilling program reflects the experience, teamwork, technical skill and commitment of the Apache North Sea region,” said James L House, region vice president and managing director of Apache North Sea.
The Forties field, discovered 40 years ago, is still the second-highest producing oil field in the UK sector of the North Sea.