How Malaysia Late Life Field Benefited From Well Intervention Efficiency Improvements Through Integrated Operations

Mohd Mokhtar, Shahril Ridzauddin (PETRONAS) | Wibisono, Rahmat (PETRONAS) | Zakaria, M. Zulkifli (PETRONAS)



In 2016, Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), the regulatory body of PETRONAS launched a 3 year dedicated strategy to intensify the idle wells restoration and production enhancement activities in order to maximize profitability through efficiency and success rate improvement. The basis of this strategy is the risk-sharing integrated operations in which the industry embraced it in all major well intervention activities. As the drilling activities dropped drastically over the past few years, it was crucial that the well intervention activities are carried out with high efficiency and success rate to restore the production.

The strategy went through various development changes throughout the 3 year journey. As the well intervention scope covers a wide range of activities, the framework of this integrated risk sharing mechanism provided the flexibility that is required for the execution of the various scopes and meet specific value targets either profitability from production gain or cost saving from decommissioning and infill drilling. Each of the project carried unique Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as the guiding principles to drive the efficiency improvement that was required. A unique process called Total Wells Management (TWM) was implemented as the overlaying guide to further improve the uncertainty of subsurface challenges, operation optimization and commercial risk exposure.

This paper outlines the overall post mortem analysis of the 22 projects that were executed under this integrated operations strategy between MPM, ten operators and five main service companies. This strategy, known to the industry as the Integrated Idle Wells Restoration (IIWR) program, has become the new norm on how well intervention and subsurface assessments are executed to yield the best results especially in late life fields. The risk sharing integrated framework have proven to be a win-win scenario for all involved parties. The scope was also extended to cover non production adding activities such as wells decommissioning, well startups and pre drilling zonal isolation. IIWR have also opened up the opportunities for many ‘first in Malaysia’ projects such as the first subsea hydraulic intervention, first subsea decommissioning and also the reinstatement of technologies such as coiled tubing catenary. The biggest impact from this 3 years strategy implementation can be seen from the Unit Enhancement Cost (UEC) improvement where the average UEC was reduced from 14 to 17 USD per barrel of oil to about 4 to 7 USD barrel of oil.

Although there were major challenges, the overall results have been very encouraging. This framework is also being replicated for drilling and completion activities as well. Specific to well intervention, this IIWR framework is currently being put through an enhancement process to further expand the landscape of well intervention activities without compromising safety, operational efficiency and business profitability.