Contribution Of Horizontal Drilling Technology In The Development Programs Of Saudi Oil Fields
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The technology of drilling and production of horizontal wells is probably one of the most significant breakthrough in the oil and gas industry of the eighties. The continuous improvement of hardware equipment made horizontal drilling cost-effective technique for developing reserves, improving productivity and recovery in oil and gas reservoir. This paper is devoted to Saudi experience in horizontal drilling. The last years have been an exciting period for those who believed in horizontal drilling applicability in Saudi Arabia. At the end of the year 1997 over than 150 horizontal wells have been drilled in Saudi oil fields. There are four major horizontal well applications identified in Saudi Arabia oil fields; 1) Control of coning in relatively thin remaining oil column area, 2) Improving sweep efficiency of water flooding program, 3) Improving productivity rate in thin/tight reservoirs and 4) Saving in total development costs in conjunction with previous three applications. This paper presents the major areas of application of horizontal wells and more specifically the objectives of applying horizontal drilling in different Saudi oil fields and the world horizontal drilling activities along with the Saudi experience will be covered. This paper surveys different field examples to show the application trends of horizontal well technology in both offshore and onshore oil fields. The main objective of this survey is to demonstrate the performance improvement of these oil fields after the application of horizontal well technology.