Gas field development has quite a few steps that must be taken in order to be successful and last for a period of time. Gas fields typically have a life span ranging anywhere from 15 to up to 30 years. That is from its first drilling to its complete depletion and abandonment. Deepwater fields are typically drilled less due to the high cost that it takes to be able to drill out the gas. The first step to gas field development is to locate the gas field and have it appraised via the hydrocarbons that are present in the field. Before any gas production of the field can be made there are several steps that must be taken.
The first phase is going to be the preparatory phase including the beginning steps to gas field development. The first step is calculating the possible profitability to determine whether or not your costs are going to be covered by the sale of the gas over the gas fields life span. Then, you must determine how many drills are going to be needed, and what type of installation for each step of production. Mostly you need to know what extraction methods should be used and how the gas brought to the surface will be processed, stored, and shipped to the consumers. In the preparatory phase, you will also need to forecast annual production volumes from beginning to the end of the field’s lifespan.
Beyond those steps, you will need to level out the land after doing the preparatory stage. You may also need to develop roads, and clear vegetation in order to make room for equipment. You will need roads in order to move equipment efficiently as well as to accommodate building the facilities that will be used while the field is in use. The roads will make it easier for your crew to work onsite, and to transport the gas and machinery.
You can expect the start-up for gas field development to last up to three years, in this stage you will need more and more wells drilled as production increases. What we call plateau production is when production stays consistent and stabilized. This stage can last up to three years as well, sometimes longer depending on the size of the gas field being developed. Then we have a decline, which is the final stage in which production decreases until you no longer have anything left or what is left would simply cost too much to keep drilling.
Overall, gas field development takes time and effort. It is not something that just happens overnight. It takes planning, and sometimes there are things you can’t plan for. It is crucial to calculate possible earnings in order to know whether or not the money you are putting into drilling the wells is going to come back to you in profits. There are a lot of expenses like machinery, and employees that one must think of when deciding on whether or not the development of a gas field is going to be profitable.