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Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings: Horizontal Drilling, South Florence Field, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana
Jeffrey A. Spencer, Travis H. Gillham, Allen T. Kutch, Art D. Lombard
Significant cost savings and improved recovery efficiency was demonstrated by the successful completion of a horizontal well in the south Louisiana middle Miocene trend of Vermilion Parish. This completion also represents the first gravel-packed horizontal well completion in the Gulf Coast.
The Amoco No. 104 Watkins well was drilled in South Florence Field to a total depth of 6,878 MD (5,686 TVD) as a horizontal well to minimize coning. The well was completed in November, 1994 from an open hole completion over a 183 m (600) horizontal section (6,278-6,878 MD). The well tested as high as 1,079 BOPD, 769 MCFG, and 27 BW. The completed well cost of $1.2 MM represents $600 M savings over the cost of two vertical wells that would have been necessary to effectively drain the reservoir.
The horizontal target interval was the upper 2.4 m (8) of a 45 m (148) sand with a 9.1 m (30) hydrocarbon column. A well was drilled before the No. 104 to serve as both a pilot hole and to test deeper objectives. The No. 104 was then drilled and encountered the top of the objective reservoir within 46 m (150) of the pilot hole. The trap is an upthrown fault closure on a down-to-the-east fault associated with the South Florence graben system, the result of deepseated salt movement. Structural control is provided by numerous wells and a 3-D seismic data set. An oil-water contact defines the downdip limit of this 0.26 km2 (63 acre) reservoir. The completed reservoir, the "5,400 Sand-lower lobe" is a very fine-grained, silty deltaic sand with sidewall core porosities of 28.9-32.3% and permeabilities of 1,100-1,050 md.
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