Maersk Oil has begun drilling the first production well at the Culzean field, located in the UK North Sea.
The well is the first of six production wells to be drilled on the high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) field, with continuous drilling activity planned over the next five years, according to Maersk. First gas is expected to be produced from Culzean in 2019.
“This is an important milestone in ensuring that we can deliver Culzean on schedule, and with it 5 percent of UK gas demand in 2020/21,” said Gretchen Watkins, CEO designate of Maersk Oil.
“It’s great to have Maersk Drilling as a partner and together we are working to ensure a safe drilling program on this critical project for Maersk and the UK,” she added.
The Maersk Highlander (400’ ILC) rig is drilling the first production well through a wellhead platform (WHP) jacket and well access deck (WAD) which were successfully instaled on location at the field in spring 2016. When the three topsides are instaled in 2018 and hooked up in 2019, three of the six production wells will be ready for first gas.
Maersk Drilling and Maersk Oil have jointly prepared the drilling on a digital ‘virtual well’, using a specialized drilling simulator at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.
“Working on a virtual rig, designed to look and feel like the Maersk Highlander has been invaluable,” said Andrew Lough, Culzean’s wells delivery manager.
“It has enabled us to prepare in a very lifelike environment for the drilling campaign, which will contribute to a safe and efficient drilling operation that will be an important milestone in developing the largest new field discovered in the UK North Sea for more than a decade,” he added.
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