David Garcia Cano de los Rios, MSc Petroleum Geoscience, University of Manchester 2015.
The Cantarell field is located in Mexico’s north-eastern petroleum province, which comprises the shoreline of the Yucatan peninsula and the continental shelf. It lies 80km to the north of Ciudad del Carmen and is limited by the deep water setting to its surroundings. The region contains several blocks which combine to make the Cantarell field; the most important block being the Akal, which has produced and held most of the reserves estimated for Cantarell (Fig. 1).
The field was discovered in 1976 and named after Rudesindo Cantarell Jimenez, a village fisherman, who discovered an oil stain in the water surface coming from under the sea. PEMEX sent an exploration unit to the region 3 years later in response to the fishermans observations. The first production well, named Chac-1 after the native rain God, was drilled eight years later (Zapata).
Cantarell is considered to be one of the six largest oil fields of the world and the biggest offshore field, holding initial reserves of 39 BBO and 18 Tcf of gas (PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion 2014). Mexico holds different types of oil, being the most popular the Maya, produced from Cantarell and other offshore NFR fields. The average API ranges from 19 to 22 degrees (Limón-Hernández, De-la-Fuente et al. 1999).
Cantarell is composed of 4 different blocks: Nohoch, Chac, Kutz and Akal (which is the biggest and held more than 90% of the reserves). All the Mexican offshore fields share a similar geology. This is a result of the Chicxulub meteorite impact in the border of the Yucatan P...
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...996, when after 15 year of maintaining a steady production rate of 1.157 MMBPD by means of 19 wells and artificial lift. The oil and gas extraction by natural water influx resulted in a drop of pressure of 157 Kg/cm2 which crossed the bubble point pressure and generated a secondary gas cap (Limón-Hernández, De-la-Fuente et al. 1999).
The decision of undertaking an enhanced oil recovery technique was taken because PEMEX was not being able to maintain the targeted production. For this case, water injection was not an option since there was previous experience in neighbour fields where water was channelizing through fractures and so the water breakthrough was soon.
According to (Limón-Hernández, De-la-Fuente et al. 1999) field depletion by natural water drive was leaving 19% of oil behind. Today it’s clear that there was more oil to be recovered than expected in 1999.
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