Venture Production plc, the Aberdeen headquartered UK independent oil and gas production company, has successfully brought the second production well in the Chiswick gas field onstream.
Following the Chiswick Alpha well which was brought onstream during September 2007, the Chiswick Gamma well was also successfully drilled from the Noble Kolskya jack-up rig, hydraulically fractured and tested at rates of up to 62 million cubic feet per day ("MMcfpd"). Test rates were limited by the well test package available and the estimated unconstrained production capability of the well was 75 MMcfpd, materially in excess of pre-drill expectations.
The final well test had stabilised flow rates restricted to 55 MMcfpd in order to minimise any solids production from the well. The well has recently been tied into the producing infrastructure and came onstream in late February. Overall production from the Chiswick field is currently over 70 MMcfpd although this rate is restricted by the liquid handing capability on the production facility whilst the Gamma well produces back the remaining fracture fluids. As the total liquid level reduces the production rate is expected to steadily ramp up over the coming weeks to between 80 and 90 MMcfpd.
Drilling of the Chiswick Gamma well represents successful completion of the first phase of development of the Chiswick field. Work is ongoing to prepare for up to three further wells targeting incremental reserves in the Gamma fault block and the undrilled Beta fault block, subject to the continued encouraging performance of the first two wells.
Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said: "Successfully bringing both Chiswick wells into production and completing this challenging project is a fantastic example of how Venture is equipped to extract value from 'stranded reserves' that previous operators have been unable or unwilling to focus upon. As a result, our Dutch operated production hub now contributes approximately 30% of Venture's total production. To build upon this base we have recently appointed Craig McCallum as country manager in the Netherlands to both manage our existing Greater Markham Area operations and co-ordinate the building of our business in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Together with the recent success on Ensign we have made a strong start to 2008. We look forward to an exciting new chapter in the growth of Venture's southern North Sea gas business particularly at a time when the outlook for UK and European gas prices is very positive."
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