Chevron expects to restore production of the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia within 12 months
After four and a half years, the Wafra oil field is set to resume production soon. Ed Colina, Chevron Operations Advisor, speaking at a technical session at the International Petroleum Technology conference 2020 (IPTC), spoke about the company’s approach to assessing its preparedness for the mission, according to Society of Petroleum Engineers SPE.
The Wafra field is located within the neutral zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and is a joint venture between Chevron, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC). The field was closed in May 2015 as part of a dispute between the two countries, due to the extension of the field’s original concession to Chevron until 2039; Kuwait said that it had not been consulted about the deal, while Saudi Arabia said the stop was due to environmental reasons.
On December 24, 2019, the Saudi Ministry of Energy and the Kuwait Oil Company announced that an agreement had been reached to resume production from Wafra and other fields in the neutral zone, which could produce up to 500,000 barrels. Neither country has set a specific restart schedule, but Chevron said in a statement it expects to restore full production within 12 months.
Colina’s statements came in accordance with the operational readiness review by assessing the completeness of operations and organizational capabilities, ensuring that Chevron and Saudi Arabia have the right people trained to take all necessary measures to ensure a safe and reliable restart, and are also trying to address potential gaps in the overall operational framework.
Collina described the process as a methodology, because in the first place it focuses not on an individual job or a specific section, but rather the entire organization. “We saw that from a holistic point of view as an integrated approach, communications must be wide open. You cannot start the field on its own without communicating with the devices, they are different teams talking to each other as soon as we start to ensure things go smoothly and reliably.”
Colina talked about some problems, pointing to a major facility that has an asset safety issue, which requires immediate attention, and added: “After restarting, there will be ample opportunities to improve the basic business approach.”