The Alkhalij oilfield
The Alkhalij oilfield is located about 50 kilometers offshore from the island of El Halul (where there is an important QGPC sea terminal), in water depths between 42 and 55 meters.
The type of contract is a production sharing agreement (PSA) between the Consortium formed by Agip Qatar BV (45 percent) with Elf Petroleum Qatar (55 percent-operator) and the State-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC).
Presently Alkhalij produces 23,000 b/d, of which approximately 6,500 b/d is the Eni quota, from a central platform (DP1) plus two satellite ones connected by a submarine pipeline and an electric cable to the island of El Halul, where the crude oil treatment plants are located.
The development so far reached constitutes a first stage because the area presently in production is just part of the field. In this first stage a simple but technologically advanced scheme has been implemented, producing with horizontal wells, from “unmanned” platform (i.e. without any personnel on board), and delivering of the oil to the shore directly by means of submersed pumps (ESP).
An important part of the scheme is the cooperation with QGPC, with provides the consortium with offshore maintenance services and, at the El Halul terminal, with treatment, storage and loading of the crude for export. The scheme as a whole has led to development and production costs being among the very lowest in the area.
Considering however the higher potential of the Alkhalij field, after the start-up of production, a pilot project was performed for injecting water into the reservoir, while a three-dimensional high-resolution (3D-HR) seismic has been acquired over the full areal extent of the concession.
Alkhalij is therefore at the decision point for a further development stage covering the whole field, making use of a water-injection mechanism aimed at increasing the field reserves and maintenance of a higher production plateau.
Once the required evaluations being conducted are completed, together with a higher production quota attributed to Alkhalij (within the framework of the OPEC quota system applied by Qatar), it is forecast that the project for the second stage of the development will start in 2000.
The production of the field could reach 60,000 b/d already in 2002, bringing Eni’s share of the output quota up to some 16,000 b/d, more than doubling the present figure. When carried out, the project will include the installation of four more platforms (similar to the DP1), the use of the same technologies (horizontal drilling, pumping the crude to the shore terminal by ESP) and extending the collaboration with QGPC for the production operations.