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A Strategic Model To Mitigate Production Loss And Downtime As A Result Of Local Rainfall For Senex Operated Oil Fields In The Cooper Basin

MacKenzie, Andrew

Suchocki, Sebastian

Engineering Honours Degree, 2012

University of Adelaide


The Cooper Basin is the location of Australia’s most important onshore petroleum and natural gas deposits with Senex Energy being a significant player in the region for both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons. The basin is a major production and processing hub however many fields in the region are prone to frequent shut-ins due to localised rainfall and the subsequent closure of important access and transportation roads. The closure of roads to transportation vehicles and tankers will generally last for at least a few days resulting in temporary field shut-ins due to storage capacity until the roads re-open; ultimately leading to deferred production and hence deferred cash flow.

The significance of the issue has been investigated by analysing the historical downtime for nine Senex Energy oil fields. The trends of rainfall related downtime have been analysed for all fields and have been compared to the studies of Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and El Nino/La Nina Events. A strong correlation between the two trends has been concluded with the significance of the results allowing a better understanding of the importance of the issue and how it can be best reduced or mitigated.

Several strategies have been proposed with some investigated in detail to establish the potential reduction in deferred production as well as the effect on production profile using decline analysis. Merak Peep was also utilised to get a better understanding of the impact some of these strategies have on the Net Present Value (NPV) of each field. The results of the analysis concluded that several of the higher producing fields will benefit from the implementation of the strategies and will experience an expected rise in NPV. However, utilising the strategies for the lower producing fields will result in an overall decrease in NPV.

By investigating the historical trends of rainfall, climatic patterns and downtime, the ultimate goal of the project was to produce a model which ties in the extensive research and analysis into a user friendly interface. The purpose of the model is to predict the expected downtime when commissioning a new field and the best strategy to implement based on the historical trends. The model will allow the user to input production flow rates according to three base cases of low, medium and high producing fields; with the output of potential downtime, optimum strategy and expected NPV value of implementing the strategy.

Australian School of Petroleum



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