Maersk and Qatar Petroleum reached the phenomenal production landmark of 1 billion barrels from the Al Shaheen field in Qatar. When other oil companies shunned the field as uneconomical, Maersk Oil saw opportunities to unlock the tight reservoir. Since taking over and developing the field in 1992 to first oil in 1994, the production curve has increased steadily to the current level of 300,000 bpd whilst reducing gas flaring to a minimum.
"This is a very difficult reservoir that was thought to be impossible to produce oil from," said Deputy Prime Minister HE Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah. "Original estimates were that the field would produce no more than 50,000 barrels per day, even in the best conditions."
Yet due to Maersk Oil's expertise in developing marginal reservoirs, today the Al Shaheen reservoirs form one third of Qatar's total oil production.
The latest USD 6 billion field development of Al Shaheen includes the installation of 15 new platforms, 163 new production and water injection wells and 140,000 tonnes of new facilities. During the comprehensive installation work, Maersk Oil managed a production uptime of over 99% without compromising safety whilst reducing gas flaring to a minimum.
"This is a great accomplishment that emphasizes how efficiently this field has been operated and is a fine example of what an international oil company and a national oil company can accomplish when they work together," said Director of Oil and Gas Ventures Qatar Petroleum Saad Al Kaabi.
"We are very proud of the fact that together with Qatar Petroleum we turned this challenging field into a commercial success, within such a short time frame," said Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen. "It is a significant achievement which has only been possible due to our strong technical skills, innovative mindset and commitment."
"Our multi-billion dollar development of Al Shaheen, delivered on time and on budget, showcases our ability to innovate and manage large, complex projects. Moreover, our participation in the Qatar Science and Technology Park demonstrates our commitment not only to local oil production, but to development of the Qatari nation as a whole," said Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen.
The Al Shaheen field has provided unique employment opportunities in Qatar, as one of the world's most complex offshore development plans. Maersk Oil in Qatar currently employs 130 Qatari nationals as part of its international team of technical experts and managers. Maersk Oil is an active partner and contributor to Qatar Science and Technology Park, where it will engage in research on improved and enhanced oil recovery as well as studies related to the environmental impact of offshore operations.
"Our relationship with Qatar is much more than a production sharing agreement," said Sheikh Faisal Al-Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar Acting General Manager. "It is founded on the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to maximize the recovery of oil while providing sustainable long-term benefits to the Qatari people."
As part of its sustainability drive and commitment to eco-efficiency, Maersk Oil has also succeeded in reducing gas flaring in the Al Shaheen field to a minimum. By exporting gas onshore and by using gas injection in the field, the company has managed to further boost recovery while reducing flaring significantly, despite a significant increase in oil production in recent years.
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