Following a successful multiple fracture well stimulation, the Chiswick Alpha well tested at rates approaching 50 million cubic feet per day ("MMcfpd") on a restricted 72/64-inch choke setting. The reservoir quality and well production performance are in line with expectations and the well is expected to reach gross production rates of between 55 and 60 MMcfpd following completion of the ongoing clean-up program through the platform facilities. This equates to additional production net to Venture of between 9,000 and 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day ("boepd"), including associated gas condensate production.
It is anticipated that the field will commence commercial production once the current Markham field annual shutdown is completed around the end of September. The new field is already tied back to the Venture-operated Markham J6A platform.
The Chiswick Alpha well (49/4a-C1y) (Venture operated - 95%) was drilled from the Noble Kolskya jack-up rig during the first half of 2007. During August a program of five hydraulic fracture procedures was successfully carried out to maximize deliverability of gas from the field and the Noble Kolskya rig is now moving back to complete the drilling of the second development well, Chiswick Gamma.
The potential for a successful development of the Chiswick field was one of the primary drivers behind the acquisition of CH4 Energy in 2006. Work has already commenced to prepare for up to three more wells to be drilled in the Chiswick field targeting incremental reserves in the Gamma Block and the undrilled Bet a Block, subject to performance from the first two wells.
Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said:
"Delivery of production from Chiswick, one of the largest undeveloped gas discoveries in the southern North Sea, illustrates how a highly focused operator can deliver the substantial additional value remaining in indigenous UK gas. Our project development team has successfully delivered a challenging project consisting of both a long, complex well and a sophisticated fracturing operation in a market, which has been very tight for services and equipment. I am delighted that we have now demonstrated the value of the CH4 deal, our largest acquisition in 2006, and we are now looking forward to further development of stranded gas in the Greater Markham Area."
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