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Maersk Oil entered into an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Qatar Petroleum (QP) in 1992. The EPSA included an oil-bearing reservoir – the Al Shaheen field – which had been deemed uneconomic by others as its reservoirs were extremely thin and stretched across vast distances. Despite these difficulties, Maersk Oil produced first oil just two years later and is now producing over one third of Qatar’s daily oil production, some 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

First oil from the Al Shaheen field was produced in 1994 from a well that was drilled during the field’s initial appraisal and exploration stage. A second Field Development Plan (FDP) was sanctioned in 1996, and the first permanent offshore facilities were inagurated at the end of 1998. In 2001, the fields next FDP included additional production platforms, production and water injection wells, facilities for gas compression and a gas export pipeline to QP’s North Field Alpha Platform.

The single largest development plan to date,


the 2005 FDP, comprised a major expansion of the field infrastructure with 15 new process and wellhead platforms, and more than a 160 new production and water injection wells, increasing field production to 300,000 bopd.

In 2012 the most recent development plan was approved. The FDP2012 comprises an additional 51 new wells and debottlenecking of existing production facilities. The plan aims to optimise recovery and maintain a longer-term stable production plateau from the Al Shaheen field.

The Al Shaheen field contains a large number of further development opportunities and these are being evaluated with our partner QP.

The primary focus of exploration and appraisal activity is evaluating different stratigraphic intervals in the EPSA area.

The Al Shaheen discovery, made in the 1970s, was well known to oil majors but thought to be impossible to develop commercially as the


low-permeable reservoirs were extremely thin – down to 1-2 metres in some areas, and stretched across a wide area.

A traditional development approach was out of the question due to the number of vertical wells and infrastructure that would have been needed.

The basis for developing these commercially and technologically challenging reservoirs has been the application of the drilling, stimulation and completion techniques that Maersk Oil developed intensively during the 1980s and 1990s to unlock the tough chalk reservoirs of the Danish North Sea.