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The Forties field in the UK Central North Sea was purchased by Apache from BP in 2003, at which time it was a giant field in the decline phase of its life. Annualized average production was 41,000 bopd and declining. No new wells had been drilled since 2001, when the previous BP drilling campaign was cancelled. This was a long way from the glory days of the early 1980s, when the field was producing between 400,000 and 500,000 bopd. By 2003, the field had produced a cumulative 2.5 billion bbl of oil, out of an in-place volume between 4.2 to 5 billion bbl, and the field was sold with 144 MMbbl of remaining reserves. Since then, Apache has tested over 100 drilling targets, made over 80 production completions and four injection completions. As a result of the Apache drilling campaign, the annualized average production rate has been held close to 60,000 bopd since 2005, and Apache has produced over 150 MMbbl from the field, of which 75 MMbbl have been produced from Apache-drilled wells. Currently, the field produces between 50,000 and 70,000 bopd, with over 70% from Apache-drilled wells, Fig. 1. Going forward, there is a dynamic, constantly evolving target portfolio, the strength of which has allowed the new 18-slot Forties Alpha Satellite platform to be commissioned for installation in 2012.
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