Australia's National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (‘NOPTA’) has completed a project to gain more detailed insights from field development and performance monitoring of Australian offshore gas developments in Commonwealth waters (excluding state and Northern Territory coastal waters). These insights help identify benchmarks for optimum long-term recovery and aspects of good oilfield practice when evaluating existing and future gas field developments. The methodology applied, high-level metrics, example analysis plots and key insights are discussed.
A new confidential in-house Field Benchmarking Database (‘Database’) has been built, collating a large subset of Australian offshore gas field data acquired by NOPTA from titleholders. The key datasets include field and reservoir properties, facilities data, development timelines and development costs. The Database also references reserves information, production data and estimated ultimate recovery, thereby allowing for quantified analysis and assessment of offshore gas fields in Commonwealth waters within a variety of subsurface, development, operational and commercial contexts.
Data set correlations based on actual and planned long-term gas field performance, capital investment, and resource recovery are utilised to create a range of benchmarking plots focussed on production efficiency, recovery efficiency, schedule efficiency and cost efficiency. A number of key insights from these metrics are presented.
The approach presented lends itself to all petroleum resources within Australian waters. However, this exercise has focussed on gas fields where there are a large number of data (e.g. within each basin, reservoir age, etc.) and where there is a diversity of field performance experience.
Consistent with NOPTA's role and resource management objectives, the new Database and workflows enable efficient analysis of past, present and future field developments. This facilitates the ongoing assessment of developed and undeveloped field performance with regard to recovery, production, capital and schedule efficiencies. Thus, improvement opportunities can be identified.
Although the Database which underpins these insights represents a high-level view of the field and project performance data, it demonstrates the key influencing effects of reservoir quality, resource size and field location. The outcomes of benchmarking are also used to support more performance improvement focussed discussion between the NOPTA and titleholders. Additionally, the benefits of improved recovery initiatives as well as late life investments can be evaluated.
Existing commercial databases and benchmarks do not have a comprehensive dataset of regional analogues specific to Australian offshore petroleum resources, particularly for gas field developments. The derived insights are practically useful and valuable for both titleholders and NOPTA, with the shared objective of delivering continuous improvement in optimum long-term recovery and good oilfield practice.