Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Burgan Oil field

The onshore Burgan Field in the desert of southeastern Kuwait is one of the world's largest and richest oil fields.After its discovery in February, 1938, the USA and UK owned Kuwait Oil Company began commercial oil production at Burgan in 1946. Kabeer Burgan is so rich that it is one of the world's easiest production sites. There are no rising and falling oil derricks at Burgan like the ones seen at other oil fields, but this doesn't rule out electric submersible pump (ESPs). That is because oil practically flows to the surface on its own. Burgan has helped Kuwait become one of the largest oil exporters on the planet. Burgan accounts for more than half of Kuwait's proven oil reserves.

Production capacity peaked at 1,700,000 barrels per day (270,000 m3/d) in 2005 and subsequently declined. The International Energy Agency predicts an output of 1,640,000 bbl/d (261,000 m3/d) in 2020, 1,530,000 bbl/d (243,000 m3/d) in 2030.

Kuwait’s production capacity is forecast to stagnate in the medium term, averaging 2.7 mb/d by 2015. The state oil company recently said it plans to invest around $10.4 billion dollars in upstream developments over the next five years, but that pales in comparison to its neighbouring countries in the Middle East Gulf. Projects underway essentially offset declines elsewhere. The GC‐24 project at the northern Sabriya field has been slightly delayed from 2013 to early 2014, with capacity of around 90 kb/d added by the end of the forecast period in 2015. EOR projects at the Burgan field are expected to add incremental capacity over the period, up a total 100 kb/d, to 1.7 mb/d, by 2015.

According to Oil and Gas Journal, as of January 2010 Kuwait’s territorial boundaries contained an estimated 101.5 billion barrels (bbl) of proven oil reserves, roughly 8 percent of the world total. The Partitioned Neutral Zone (a.k.a. Divided Zone, Neutral Zone), which Kuwait shares 50-50 with Saudi Arabia, holds an additional 5 billion bbl of reserves, bringing Kuwait's total oil reserves to 104 billion bbl. Click here for a map of major oil fields from Kuwait’s Ministry of Oil.

The main producing reservoirs at Burgan are sandstones of Cretaceous age. The gross productive section is about 1,220 feet at the crest of the structure. Four major sandstone horizons within this section account for most of the current and cumulative production. The fourth sand is much thicker than the others, so the original oil-water contact did not impinge on the base of the sand, even at the structural crest. A single oil-water contact cuts across all four sands in all three structural culminations. The productive area is more than 96,000 acres. The Mauddud limestone is present between the second and third sands, and is a minor oil reservoir. The four sands have a strong natural water drive, so water injection is not needed to maintain reservoir pressure.

In 1991, retreating Iraqi soldiers set Burgan Field on fire. Smoke plumes from the Greater Burgan oil field extended 50 kilometers in width on any given day, and 2.5 km thick. From satellite observations the plume appeared like a black snake in the desert that extended parallel to the Persian Gulf (EOS Project NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). The Red Adair Service and Marine Company extinguished 117 of the burning oilwell fires, while Canadian company Safety Boss set the pace with 180 wells extinguished. Declassified 1991 CIA documents claimed that despite the destruction there was no significant depletion of the oil reserves and production capacity of Burgan field.Three gathering stations were however too badly damaged to repair.

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