The Al Shaheen Region
The Al Shaheen offshore oil field is located approximately 80km off the north coast of Qatar, in the central part of the Arabian Gulf. It was discovered in the 1970s, but at that time it was considered impossible to develop due to the wide stretched and very thin low-permeable reservoirs – down to a few meters in some areas. A traditional development approach was out of the question due to the number of vertical wells and infrastructure that would have been needed.
In 1992 Maersk Oil entered into an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Qatar Petroleum (QP) for Block 5 including the Al Shaheen discovery. Through the use 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 the first oil was produced from Al Shaheen in 1994.
Today Al Shaheen produces around 300,000 barrels of oil per day, which equals one third of Qatar oil production, and makes it the largest offshore oil field in Qatar.
The nine platform locations, from where the oil is being produced and exported, are massive steel structures positioned on the seabed at depths between 55-65 metres. The first platforms were constructed in 1994 while the latest were put in to commission in 2007. Below the sea surface the platform legs have developed into artificial reefs, with soft corals and sponges covering the steel structures. Large schools of fish are constantly circling the structures.
Al Shaheen – Artificial Reef