PNG 301
Introduction to Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

8.1.3: Development Phase

Graph highlighting the development phase of the life cycle of a hydrocarbon field, described below.
Figure 8.01c: Development Phase of the Life-Cycle of a Hydrocarbon Field
Source: Greg King © Penn State, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

During the development phase, wells are drilled with the primary objective of hydrocarbon production. This is the phase in the field or reservoir life-cycle where the development plan is implemented. There is a strong economic incentive (time value of money) for developing the field or reservoir.

During the development phase of the life-cycle, the rig schedule is almost exclusively dedicated to drilling the wells considered in the original development plan. During development drilling, the learning curve becomes steeper (more is learned over a shorter period) and the drilling times typically become shorter as the drilling engineers and drilling crews make use of the lessons learned from previous wells.