Drilling engineering geology book

     The length of the exploration phase will depend on the success or otherwise of the exploration wells. There may be a single exploration well or many exploration wells drilled on a prospect. If an economically attractive discovery is made on the prospect then the company enters the Appraisal phase of the life of the fi eld. During this phase more seismic lines may be shot and more wells will be drilled to establish the lateral and vertical extent of (to delineate ) the reservoir. These appraisal wells will yield further information, on the basis of which future plans will be based. The information provided by the appraisal wells will be combined with all of the previously collected data and engineers will investigate the most cost effective manner in which to develop the field. If the prospect is deemed to be economically attractive a Field Development Plan will be submitted for approval to the Secretary of State for Energy. It must be noted that the oil company is only a licencee and that the oil field is the property of the state. The state must therefore approve any plans for development of the field. If approval for the development is received then the company will commence drilling Development wells and constructing the production facilities according to the Development Plan. Once the field is ‘on-stream’ the companies’ commitment continues in the form of maintenance of both the wells and all of the production facilities.

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