North Wales Branch Meeting

21st June 2018


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GWL Cluster Meeting

Thursday 21st June  2018 – 6:00 for 6:30pm

Pilot: an undeveloped offshore heavy oil field waiting for steam flooding

Presenter  –   Dr. Maurice Bamford

The Abstract

Heavy oil is difficult to produce for one reason: it is too viscous.  Light oil flows easily, whereas heavy oils do not. However, when heavy oil is heated it becomes much less viscous than a cold light crude. Steam flooding is amongst the most efficient means for recovering oil, with recovery factors from successful steam floods ranging from 50% to 80%.  The technique has been widely used in the onshore in California and Indonesia, whereas other steam techniques are common place in Venezuela and Canada.  Steam injection has very largely not been applied in the offshore, though there are two examples in China and Congo.

The UKCS contains substantial quantities of heavy oil, with significant volumes remaining undeveloped due to their high viscosity.  The current producing heavy oil fields on the UKCS are produced using water flood, with varying recoveries. A number of heavy oil discoveries remain unsanctioned due to low recovery factors.

The Pilot field is an undeveloped heavy oil discovery on the Western Platform of the Central Graben; it has seven well penetrations with substantial data collected but remains undeveloped due to the viscosity of the oil.  A number of companies have held the acreage but have all failed to come up with an economically attractive development scheme.

Pilot is, however, one of the few heavy oil fields in the UKCS which passes all the conventional screening for steam flooding.  It is buried at less than 3,000 ft depth, contains a high net to gross turbidite reservoir with a simple geometry, has an average porosity of over 30%, several Darcies permeability, and high oil saturations.

Pilot is currently held by The Steam Oil Production Company, and as the name suggests, are seeking to develop the field with a steam flood. 

The Speaker

Maurice Bamford is a geologist with 30 years’ experience in academia, BP, Robertson Research, Talisman Energy, EnQuest and is currently an independent consultant.  He held the position of Exploration & Geoscience Manager at both Talisman UK and EnQuest. He has a background in technical assurance, exploration, appraisal, pre-developments, structural geology, and a PhD in clastic sedimentology from the National University of Ireland.

He is currently assisting The Steam Oil Production Company


VenueIt will be held at The Royal Cambrian Academy, Crown Lane, Conwy, LL32 8AN (located behind Plas Mawr) and will begin at 6:30pm promptly.  Refreshments will be served from 6pm

For further information please contact us: on 01492 592425 or

Venue Information

Venue information

Venue name:

Royal Cambrian Academy of Art

Venue address:

Crown Lane, Conwy, LL32 8AN, United Kingdom
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