Daily production of water from mature fields is continuously increasing. In 1999, produced water was quoted to be over 33.4 m3/d (210 million barrels) some 3 times the world oil production. This increase in volumes of water to be handled lead to higher lifecycle development cost and result in abandoning prematurely oil and gas wells, leaving significant volumes of un-recovered hydrocarbons. For the sustainable development of hydrocarbon resources, Shell set up a strategy to move water management within its fields from “legacy, disposal and value erosion” to “reservoir management and value preservation”. This strategy is currently being executed by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of 30 staff who find, develop and implement new technologies as well as share best practices in integrated water management.
Implementation of novel technologies during field development plans focuses on four key principles:
· Minimise water volumes produced to surface
· Return water to producing reservoir for increased oil production
· Maximise water re-use for workover/completion operations and for bio-saline irrigation
· Safeguard open waters & potentially used water aquifers