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The Emeraude Field is a major heavy oil accumulation, lying offshore Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo) at a water depth of 60m.

The reservoir is shallow, ranging from 250m to 400m below the sea floor. Existing development facilities (wellhead platforms and process platform) are concentrated on the southern and northern parts of the structure where promising characteristics were identified and initially developed in the 1980s.

The low reservoir pressure, combined with the viscous oil and significant water ingress into the oil layers makes production operations complex. Today production is limited to the central parts. Without further development on the flanks, Emeraude will remain at its current production level. Perenco's ambitious development plan for the field consists of:

  • Installing new platforms on the undeveloped, outlying areas of the reservoir and drilling additional wells, using up-to-date directional drilling techniques to optimise the drainage areas
  • Enhancing oil recovery by reducing the oil viscosity - achieved by injecting steam into the reservoir

The Flank Pilot Project consists of a newly built drilling process and production platform that was installed early in 2009 on the flank of the reservoir. From this support (40 x 30m deck, total 4000T platform) 13 wells have been drilled in a pattern, nine producing wells and four steam injection wells. The reservoir response under steam drive will be monitored and assessed.

In addition to the technical challenges (deviation drilling in depleted zones, steam generation, platform control systems) and acquisition of the technological experience, the objective of the Emeraude Flank Pilot Project is to confirm the profitability of an extensive, safe and large-scale development.

After two years of pre-project and reservoir simulations, basic engineering for the project started in 2006. In 2007, the platform construction contract was awarded to Delattre Levivier, Morocco. 

Delivered in modules, the equipment (drilling facilities, water process facilities, oil treatment facilities) was transported to Morocco and assembled during a four-month integration campaign in 2008. The platform was successfully installed in Emeraude in 2009 where the 13 wells were drilled, and production begun. Production exceeds the target rate.


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