IOG Aborts Southwark Ops Following Jack-Up Leg Issue
Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) stopped operations on the Southwark field after noticing an issue on a leg of a Noble Corporation-owned jack-up rig.
IOG said that this resulted in an operation halt and would require a damage assessment in the port. The rig in question – Noble Hans Deul – in September drilled, cleaned up, and flow tested the Blythe development well.
After that, it mobilized across to Southwark, the third of the Phase 1 fields after Elgood and Blythe, where it was supposed to spud the next production well through the Southwark platform.
Early on Sunday, October 10, during routine jacking operations after arriving at the field, an issue was identified on one of the legs of the rig, and the installation process was halted.
No drilling or associated works were ongoing at the time. The rig went to full muster while the issue was assessed and all 66 people on board are safe and well. There was no damage to the rig hull or the Southwark platform.
IOG added that the rig is now stable and connected to tow boats while the crew assesses its condition. The priority of the company and its drilling contractors remains the safety of all relevant personnel, ensuring the rig's ongoing integrity and the safe and efficient continuation of the Phase 1 drilling campaign at the earliest feasible time.
The rig owner, Noble Corporation, has initiated an investigation into the cause of the issue. It is initially expected that the rig will be transported to port to undertake any necessary assessments before drilling can be safely resumed.
As per the recent Blythe drilling update, the Company continues to expect first gas from both the Blythe and Elgood fields in the fourth quarter of 2021 once the final subsea and onshore installations are complete.
"Needless to say, we will be taking all necessary actions to minimize the interruption to safe and efficient development drilling at Southwark caused by this unexpected issue identified by the Noble Hans Deul rig during jacking operations,” Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, said.
“Most importantly, there has been no harm to any personnel or any IOG assets. In the meantime, this has no bearing on the timing of Phase 1 first gas from the Blythe and Elgood fields which remains on schedule to occur during Q4 2021."
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