Ireland Section

  • Active Oilfield Development while Preserving Fragile Ecosystems

    Thursday, May 20, 2021, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM IE
    Active Oilfield Development while Preserving Fragile Ecosystems. Speaker: Dr. James Arukhe Abstract: Developing offshore oilfields has always been a challenge. How does one exploit such resources while preserving the sensitive environment? Balancing economic ambitions with environmental responsibility is illustrated with Manifa development, the largest offshore hydrocarbon development project, off Saudi Arabia’s coast. Manifa is a huge six-reservoir field stretching 45 km by 18km, lying in less than 15 metres of water. The field is capable of producing close to a million barrels of oil per day in a pristine environment. Manifa field is not just a treasure trove of oil and gas, but also a delicate environmental habitat teeming with marine life including the endangered Hawksbill turtle, and a safe haven for migratory birds. As the oil lay just beneath the shallow waters, the field development presented a major environmental challenge. In this DL presentation, the author will share best practices including several environmental impact studies conducted to minimize the environmental impact of developing an ecologically-delicate field, without sacrificing overall economics. To avoid damaging the fragile ecosystem, a radical new approach was undertaken. Integrated proactive sustainability concepts during construction, drilling, reservoir management and production that limit environmental impact will be presented. The project’s outcomes exemplify that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive through proper engagements, commitments to collaboration, and environmental stewardship. The Manifa offshore project has received several prestigious environmental and project execution awards. Available through SPE Connect as part of the virtual Distinguished Lecturer (DL) program.