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The Piper field lies in UK block 15/17 near the eastern part of the Moray Firth Basin, 125 mi northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland. The field was discovered in December 1972. Five appraisal wells and one exploratory well were drilled in 1973. A steel platform with 36 well slots and space for two drilling rigs was centrally located over the field in 474 ft of water in June 1975, and readied for production drilling by October 1976. Production is from the Upper Jurassic Piper Sandstone, a high-energy, marine sandstone with gross thickness, 177 to 453 ft (56 to 138 m); net sand, 132 to 378 ft (40 to 115 m); net oil sand, 132 to 296 ft (40 to 90 m); average net oil sand, 160 ft (49 m); average porosity 26%; permeabilities 200 to 1,200 md in lower energy bioturbated sands, 2,000 to 0,000 md in higher energy sands. The reservoir is sealed by Kimmeridge shale over most of the field and by Upper Cretaceous marlstones along some fault scarps. The main area of the field, a gently folded fault block dipping 5° northeast and a downthrown northwest-southeast fault block, covers 6,300 acres (2,550 ha.), has a common oil-water contact at 8,512 ft (2,594 m) subsea, and a gross reservoir column 1,300 ft (396 m), which is 7,200 ft (2,195 m) subsea to the oil-water contact. A small accumulation on a parallel fault block on the southwest has a separate oil-water contact at 9,199 ft (2,804 m) subsea. The P1 production well spudded October 10, 1976, established commercial production December 7, 1976 at more than 30,000 B/D, restricted by 5½-in. tubing. The P7 well complet d in April 1977 produced more than 50,000 BOPD, restricted by 7-in. tubing. Twenty-four wells have been drilled, four as water injectors to support an active water drive. Production is 300,000 BOPD and recoverable reserves are estimated to be 700 million bbl. Extensive use of seismic data and excellent cooperation by partners in the consortium and the United Kingdom regulatory bodies allowed maximum use of production and new well data to improve subsequent development.
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