Al Shaheen Oil Field

The Al Shaheen Oil Field is a production oil and gas field off the north east coast of Qatar in the Persian Gulf, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Doha.[1] The oil field lies above the North Gas Field, one of the largest gas fields in the world. The field has been operated by Maersk Oil Qatar AS of Denmark until July 2017 under a production sharing agreement with Qatar Petroleum, on behalf of the state of Qatar.[2] As of June 2016, Qatar Petroleum and the French major Total S.A. established a new company known as "North Oil Company (Qatar)". The new company is 70% owned by Qatar Petroleum and 30% by Total. North Oil Company took over field operations on 14 July 2017.

Al Shaheen Oil Field
Al Shaheen Oil Field is located in Persian Gulf
Al Shaheen Oil Field
Location of Al Shaheen Oil Field in the Persian Gulf
RegionPersian Gulf
Coordinates26°36′18″N 51°55′55″E / 26.605°N 51.932°E / 26.605; 51.932Coordinates: 26°36′18″N 51°55′55″E / 26.605°N 51.932°E / 26.605; 51.932
OperatorNorth Oil Company Qatar
Qatar Petroleum
Field history
Start of production1994
Current production of oil270,000 barrels per day (~1.3×10^7 t/a)
Year of current production of oil2006
Producing formationsNahr Umr, Shuaiba and Kharaib formations


Though well North West Deep-2, drilled by Shell in 1974, blew out briefly from the Shaheen reservoir, the oil field was only formally discovered in 1992 by Maersk Oil. The drilling of appraisal wells was completed in 1994 using horizontal drilling techniques.[3][4] Regular oil production started the same year. In 1995–1996, production facilities were extended with subsea export pipelines, an additional single point mooring loading buoy, new process facilities and a STAR type wellhead platform.[3]

In April 2004, the extension area north of block 5 was included to the production sharing agreement. Inauguration of new offshore facilities took place on 23 February 2005.[5]

In May 2008, Maersk Oil drilled the world record extended reach well BD-04A in the field with the GSF Rig 127 operated by Transocean. The well was drilled incident free to a record measured length of 40,320 ft (12,290 m) including a record horizontal reach of 35,770 ft (10,900 m) in 36 days.[6]

From 2004 until August 2009 the massive supertanker, Knock Nevis, the largest ship built to date, was moored there as a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO).[7] In January 2010, she was replaced by both the FSO Asia, and in August 2010, the FSO Africa replaced the Astro Canopus. Both vessels are owned as a joint venture by Overseas Shipholding Group and Euronav.[8]

In June 2016 France's Total won a tender to replace Maersk Oil as operator of Al Shaheen Oil Field and commenced operating the field on 14 July 2017 under a joint venture agreement between Total (30%) and Qatar Petroleum (70%) through a new company named North Oil Company.[9]


The oil and gas producing formation is the Kharaib, Shuaiba and Nahr Umr Formations (Early Cretaceous). The field is characterized by low permeability, limited thickness, and geological complexity.[2]


The field consists of 131 operational production and water injection wells, 18 permanent platforms, and six production installations connected by 20 pipelines.[2] In 2006, Al Shaheen's production of 240,000 barrels per day (38,000 m3/d) accounted for a significant portion of Qatar's total oil production of 815,000 barrels per day (129,600 m3/d). Although the production capacity reaches 260,000 barrels per day (41,000 m3/d), the current actual production is only 200,000 barrels per day (32,000 m3/d) due to OPEC quotas.[2] A development plan between Maersk Oil and Qatar Petroleum calls for an increase in production to 525,000 barrels per day (83,500 m3/d). This increase is expected to account for the majority of growth in Qatar's petroleum output over this time.[10]

Oil is currently stored in the floating storage and offloading vessels FSO Asia and FSO Africa. Produced oil is transported to the Mesaieed Industrial City for processing and export. There is a plan to build a new 250,000-barrel-per-day (40,000 m3/d) refinery in Mesaieed to process oil from Al Shaheen. This plan has been postponed.[11]

The Al-Shaheen field also produces associated gas. The gas production is estimated about 220 million cubic feet per day (6.2×10^6 m3/d) of which 125–150 million cubic feet per day (3.5×10^6–4.2×10^6 m3/d) is exported through the North Field Alpha facilities to Mesaieed, 30 million cubic feet per day (850×10^3 m3/d) is consumed on-site for power and heat generation, and 40 million cubic feet per day (1.1×10^6 m3/d) is flared.[12]


The Kola Superdeep Borehole was the longest and deepest borehole in the world for nearly 20 years. However, in May 2008, a new record for borehole length was established by the extended-reach drilling (ERD) well BD-04A, which was drilled by Transocean for Maersk Oil in the Al Shaheen oil field in Qatar. It was drilled to 12,289 m (40,318 ft), with a record horizontal reach of 10,902 m (35,768 ft) in only 36 days.[13][14]

On 28 January 2011, Exxon Neftegas Ltd., operator of the Sakhalin-I project, drilled the world's longest extended-reach well offshore on the Russian island of Sakhalin. It has surpassed the length of both the Al Shaheen well and the Kola borehole. The Odoptu OP-11 well reached a measured total length of 12,345 m (40,502 ft) and a horizontal displacement of 11,475 m (37,648 ft). Exxon Neftegas completed the well in 60 days.[15]

On 27 August 2012, Exxon Neftegas Ltd beat its own record by completing the Z-44 Chayvo well. This ERD well reached a measured total length of 12,376 metres (40,604 ft). [16]


  1. ^ "Qatar: location of oil & gas fields" (PDF). Roc Oil Company. 2 April 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Al Shaheen Oil Field, Qatar". Offshore-Technology. Net Resources International. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Development of the Al Shaheen field". Maersk Oil. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  4. ^ Sonowal, K., Bennetzen, B., Wong, P., Isevcan, E.; "How Continuous Improvement Lead to the Longest Horizontal Well in the World", SPE/IADC 119506, Presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17–19 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Al Shaheen Field Offshore Facilities Inaugurated". Qatar Petroleum. Rigzone. 23 February 2005. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Transocean GSF Rig 127 Drills Deepest Extended-Reach Well" (Press release). Transocean Ltd. 21 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  7. ^ Canty, Daniel (16 August 2009). "World's largest FSO to retire from Qatar waters". ITP Business Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  8. ^ "OSG Delivers First FSO to Al Shaheen Oil Field". Overseas Shipholding Group. Rigzone. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  9. ^ Finn, Tom (28 June 2016). "France's Total will replace Maersk as operator of Al Shaheen Oil Field". Reuters. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Country Analysis Briefs: Qatar". Energy Information Administration. 2 December 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Qatar Delays Construction of al-Shaheen Oil Refinery". OilVoice. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Project 0763: Al-Shaheen Oil Field Gas Recovery and Utilization Project" (PDF). UNFCCC. 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2010. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ "Transocean GSF Rig 127 Drills Deepest Extended-Reach Well" (Press release). Transocean Ltd. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Maersk Oil finished Drilling (BD-04A) well at Al-Shaheen field, Qatar". Gulf Oil & Gas Marketplace. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Sakhalin-1 Project Drills World's Longest Extended-Reach Well". Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Z-44 Chayvo Well: The Deepest Oil Extraction (Infographic)". Oil & Gas iQ.