Field Focus: Saudi Aramco's Karan Field
Saudi Aramco's first offshore nonassociated gas field development
Discovered by Saudi Aramco in April 2006, Karan gas field is the first non-associated gas field located in Saudi territorial waters of the Arabian Gulf, 160 kilometers north of the company’s headquarters in Dhahran.
Non-associated gas fields do not have an associated oil column and can thus be produced without waiting to deplete the oil reserves before producing the gas cap associated with an oil field.
The Karan field was discovered when the Karan-6 well drilled into deeper formations, finding gas in the Khuff carbonate reservoirs laid down from 200 to 299 million years ago in the Permian and Triassic periods.
With a Khuff gross thickness up to 1,000 feet, Karan’s is the thickest Khuff reservoir section ever encountered in Saudi Arabia. The Khuff formation ranges in depth from 10,500-13,700 feet, and Karan lies in medium-depth waters of 40-60 meters.
Karan, designed to produce 1.8 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of raw dry gas to support the company’s Master Gas System, will be produced from 21 increment wells distributed over five offshore wellhead platforms.
The gas production will be staged with five wells already drilled and completed that will be tied-in and commissioned for 400 million scfd in early production planned for four months during 2011 summer peak demand.
Three other platforms with 14 wells will be drilled, completed, tied-in and on stream in June 2012, and the remaining two wells and platform will be ready in April 2013, bringing the field to full-capacity production. By January 2011, overall drilling and completion progress was 78 percent.
Produced gas will be co-mingled at one Tie-In Offshore Platform through five 20-inch subsea flowlines. Then, gas will be transported via one 38-inch subsea pipeline onshore to the Khursaniyah Gas Plant (KGP), where new gas-processing facilities are being constructed.
The project marks a milestone in Saudi Aramco's gas expansion program. Additional Khuff offshore gas fields, similar to Karan, at Arabiyah (1.2 billion scfd) and Hasbah (1.3 billion scfd) were recently discovered and have been approved for development, with drilling to start in June 2011.
These fields along with other offshore gas discoveries will provide a vital part of the Kingdom’s gas production for the foreseeable future.
Source: Saudi Aramco 2010 Annual Report