Noble Rig Arrives To Drill IOG Well. First Gas Off Target.

Noble Rig Arrives To Drill IOG Well. First Gas Off Target.
IOG will be spudding the first well in the Southwark field by the end of this week but first gas from the field will be delayed to mid-2022.

UK oil and gas company IOG will be spudding the first well in the Southwark field in the North Sea by the end of this week but first gas from the field will be delayed to mid-2022.

Blythe, Elgood, and Southwark fields are part of the IOG-operated Saturn Banks Project – Phase 1, sanctioned in October 2019. IOG is the operator and owns 50 percent while its partner CalEnergy Resources holds the remaining 50 percent.

Southwark was supposed to be drilled much earlier but an issue was found on one of the legs of the Noble Hans Deul jack-up rig in October 2021 which meant stopping all drilling operations. The issue was noted after a Blythe production well was drilled and the rig mobilized to Southwark. There it was supposed to drill a production well through the platform.

After the issue was noted, the rig was then taken to a port for repairs. IOG believed that it would continue work on Southwark by the start of December but did not foresee any first gas date change – initially, the company expected first gas from the field to occur in the second quarter of 2022.

The repaired Noble Hans Deul arrived at Southwark on December 9 and is expected to spud the first Southwark development well by the end of the week.

IOG did say in its operational update that first gas at Southwark was now expected by mid-2022 after the planned installation of the 3.7-mile Saturn Banks pipeline extension to the Southwark platform is completed in the first quarter of next year.

The rig will then move on to the Goddard and Kelham North/Central appraisal wells while reservoir and production data from Southwark wells 1 and 2 is analyzed. The analysis will enable IOG to pick an optimal Southwark 3 well plan.

“I look forward to the safe and successful execution of the Southwark wells, the first of which is expected to spud in the next week. Although significant further progress has been achieved at Bacton, final pre-first gas commissioning activities are now expected to carry over into the early weeks of 2022,” Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, said.

IOG eyes Phase 2 sanction

IOG is also planning to sanction another development as part of the Saturn Banks project Phase 2. The schedule for concept selection and sanction for the Nailsworth development is planned to be submitted to OGA by the end of December.

Nailsworth is 12 miles northwest of Southwark and is expected to be the first Phase 2 field to be developed. IOG is building new static and dynamic subsurface models to refine its estimates for gross recoverable gas of 64/105/156 billion cubic feet.

Gas from the new field is expected to be evacuated via the Southwark platform and Saturn Banks Pipeline System and IOG and its partner CalEnergy are assessing the most economically and environmentally attractive concept.

Worth noting, IOG will not be pursuing an extension to its Harvey license beyond its expiry date – December 19 – as it sees more material, higher-return opportunities than Harvey to allocate its capital and resources.

To contact the author, email bojan.lepic@rigzone.com


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