Holes are part of our business. In order to produce crude oil and natural gas, we drill holes, very deep holes. When reservoirs are found, the pressure alone usually pushes the oil or gas up to the surface, at least most of the time. But this natural pressure eventually dissipates and then you need the right technology to produce oil and gas from “mature fields”. And that’s what we have.
OMV has a great deal of experience in operating mature fields. Not for nothing, as OMV has been producing oil and gas in Austria for 60 years. And we get the very last drop out of these fields – up to 60% of the crude oil available and up to 90% of the natural gas. These figures make us among the best in the world – internationally the ultimate recovery factor is around 40% on average for crude and a maximum of 80% for gas deposits.
The Matzen oil field in the Vienna basin is one such “super-mature” field, with more than 50 years of crude oil production. “Specialists from every department work together to ensure the optimal extraction from fields such as this one”, says Markus Doschek, who has been Head of Workover & Drilling at OMV Austria since 2015. “The technology we use is state of the art; for example we use directional drilling, which involves the controlled drilling of curves and straights so that we can reach the specified target exactly. The limited thickness of the target horizons, i.e. the limited thickness of the reservoirs, means that the expected production rates can only be achieved with horizontal drilling”. But in the area of workover, a huge emphasis is also placed on detailed planning and execution. This facilitates maximum performance in terms of the operating times of production pumps, an area in which OMV is an international leader.
We are very proud of the record of our predecessors, for example the Zistersdorf ÜT2 well, which reached a depth of 8,553 meters in 1983. However, now we have to focus on target accuracy; this means that today we are concentrating on hitting multiple deposits reservoirs with a single drilling well as precisely as possible.
Since there are a lot of mature fields like this in the Vienna Basin, Austria is also home to OMV’s global center for research and technology development. Matzen is the largest coherent oil field in Central Europe; it stretches from Linz to Bratislava and towards Brno in the north. Given its size and the fact that it is easy to access, particularly compared to an offshore field, it is the perfect “open-air lab” and offers OMV the right structure for pilot testing. “Here we develop scientific theories, we test new technological concepts, we collect experience and then we transfer all of this to the entire OMV world – from New Zealand to Norway”.
For even more holes and mature fields, take a look at our video, which was awarded a Silver Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards 2016.