Enhanced recovery

Hydraulic Fracturing Unlocks Potential of Europe’s Largest Reservoir

In this paper, a comparison is presented of the range of production outcomes for Clair Phase 1 and Clair Ridge, including the potential downsides of relying on natural fractures.

Sleeve with integrated perforation ports.
Sleeve with integrated perforation ports.

Greater Clair, Europe’s largest oil field, has two existing platforms, Clair Phase 1 and Clair Ridge, on production with the potential for a third platform targeting the undeveloped Lower Clair Group (LCG) to the South of Phase 1. In some areas, however, low matrix quality and lack of natural fractures were the dominant characteristics, resulting in lower production rates. The authors write that fracturing technology brings opportunities to unlock poorer Phase 1 and Ridge reservoir areas.


Reservoir Description. The Clair field is 75 km west of the Shetland Islands on the UK Continental Shelf within the extensional Faroe-Shetland Basin.

The Old Red Sandstone reservoir is divided into two lithostratigraphic units, the Upper and LCG. The LCG contains the bulk of the oil in place and underpins the Clair development. The reservoir is characterized by large variations in facies and permeabilities.

The LCG is subdivided into six units, I through VI, based on variations in sedimentary facies and heavy mineral assemblages. Development drilling preferentially targets the highest quality reservoirs in Units V and III. The LCG is defined as a dual-permeability system with a variable fracture distribution.

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