Saudis start Karan nonassociated gas flow in gulf

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 27
– Saudi Aramco began flowing natural gas earlier this month from Karan field in the Persian Gulf via subsea pipeline to the Khursaniyah gas treatment plant onshore in Saudi Arabia.

The project constitutes Saudi Aramco’s first offshore nonassociated gas field project (OGJ, June 6, 2011, p. 88).

Saudi Aramco discovered Karan in April 2006 in gulf waters 160 km north of Dhahran. The field has five production platform complexes connected to a main tie-in platform, installed with associated electrical power, communication, and state-of-the-art remote monitoring and control facilities for safe and reliable operations from onshore. Detailed design work began in March 2009.

The field was discovered when the Karan-6 well drilled into Khuff formations, finding gas in carbonate reservoirs laid down 200-300 million years ago in the Permian and Triassic periods. At as thick as 1,000 ft, Karan’s is the thickest Khuff reservoir section ever encountered in Saudi Arabia. The Khuff formation at Karan lies at 10,500-13,700 ft in 40-60 m of water.

Shipped via a 110-km subsea pipeline, Karan gas is treated at Khursaniyah through a number of trains that include facilities for gas sweetening, acid-gas enrichment, gas dehydration, and supplementary propane refrigeration.

The onshore facilities also include a cogeneration plant, a sulfur recovery unit with storage tank, substations, and a transmission pipeline linked to the kingdom’s Master Gas System (MGS).

Karan, designed to produce 1.8 bscfd of raw dry gas by 2013 to support the MGS, will be produced from 21 wells distributed over five offshore wellhead platforms.

Five wells producing 120 MMscfd/well have been commissioned so far. Early production is targeted for peak summer demand, with an average production of more than 400 MMscfd, Saudi Aramco said. Drilling is under way on 14 more wells on three other platforms, and only four wells are left to be drilled. The wells will be completed, tied in, and put on stream by June 2012 at 1.5 bscfd.

The remaining two wells and platform will be ready in April 2013, bringing the field to full capacity.

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