The first of six production wells on Statoil's Huldra field in the North Sea encountered problems on Friday, October 20th, when gas began flowing into the well unexpectedly. The well had reached a depth of 15,945 feet and completion work was about to commence when the incident occurred that raised the downhole pressure and the blowout preventer was activated. Non-essential personnel were evacuated from the jackup, Maersk Gallant, to the Veslefrikk field. No injuries have been reported.
The well was stabilized over the weekend and preparations are being made to recover the lost equipment. The well will be plugged and abandoned before the second well is spudded. Nine of the evacuated workers have returned to the rig while the remaining workers have returned to shore.