Oil production from oil rim reservoirs has always been a challenge due to their thinly spread oil resources and complicated production mechanisms. Movement of oil/water and gas/oil contacts could be very sensitive to conventional production operation and cause detrimental early water/gas breakthrough. The low oil production volume and hence low recovery (typically less than 18%) make the oil rim field development economically less attractive. However, integration of state-of-the-art engineering approaches, innovative technical initiatives and new technologies can make a significant change in the oil rim reservoir development. This paper, which is a brief of the author’s recent SPE distinguished lecture on the same topic, disseminates the applied fundamentals, critical elements and proven practices to maximize the hydrocarbon recovery in successful and integrated oil rim developments. The paper covers the reliable volumetric assessment and development concept (i.e., sequential, concurrent, etc.), robust and proactive reservoir management/monitoring policy to advice on depletion strategies and production to control the conning and cusping of water and gas. In addition, utilizing new technologies, appropriate production technology advice to assist timely development decision making, best simulation and modeling approach for the applied technologies (e.g., Horizontal/Multilateral wells, smart wells/completion, ICD/ICV, tracer, etc.) and complicated mechanism and dynamics involved in oil rim development are explained and discussed. The recommended workflow, guideline and technical initiatives will be elaborated throughout the paper and the success and value creation of the recommended methodology will be demonstrated in various real case studies. The paper demonstrates progressive and step-by-step recovery factor improvement up to additional 20% in the studied real cases.


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