Clair Phase 1: The Evolving Development of a Complex Fractured Field

Webster, Mark (BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd)



The Clair field is the largest discovered oilfield on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) but has high reservoir uncertainty associated with a complex natural fracture network. The field area covers over 200 sq km with an estimated STOIIP of 7 billion barrels. The scale and complexity of the reservoir has led to a phased multi-platform development.

Phase 1 started production in 2005 with 20 wells drilled prior to an extended drill break. Five new wells (A21 to A25) were drilled and brought online during 2016/17 which increased platform production by c.70%. The new wells incorporated historic lessons to mitigate the risk of wellbore instability in the overburden and be robust to the dynamic uncertainties of the fractured reservoir. Many of the well outcomes and risk events were predicted and mitigated effectively, however the new wells still provided some surprises.

This paper presents a summary of the lessons from the historic Clair development wells which underpinned the recent drilling campaign and additional field understanding provided by the new well results. New insights include a narrower overburden drilling window and zonal isolation challenges within the reservoir.