Statoil Starts Drilling at Gudrun Proj. Offshore Norway

The Gudrun project is reaching new milestones, with the West Epsilon rig busy drilling wells that need to be ready for production start in 2014.

"The Gudrun field is characterized by high pressure and high temperature," said Petter Kostøl, who is in charge of drilling and well operations in Stavanger.

All seven production wells planned for the Gudrun field will be pre-drilled through the jacket before the topside is installed in 2013. Work commenced on the first well on September 6.

"Due to the field characteristics we have to pre-drill all wells before we start the actual production," said Kostøl. "With this concept we have chosen a robust well strategy."

Production in 2014

The background for this strategy is not least to avoid depletion problems, which means reservoir depressurization that would complicate further drilling.

"This stepwise and repeated drilling operation leads to a more rational use of equipment and resources," said drilling superintendent Nils Petter Norheim. "The result is improved learning and safety as well as higher efficiency."

Drilling through the jacket will continue for two years until the summer of 2013. Then the topside will be installed on the Gudrun platform, and the pre-drilled wells will be completed and prepared for production.

The entire drilling program will stretch into 2014, with plans calling for oil and gas production to start in the first quarter of 2014.

In addition to the seven wells on Gudrun, an effort is currently being made to obtain approval for the drilling of a production well on the Brynhild discovery.

Model for Valemon

"While the Gudrun project has been able to build on drilling experience from the Kristin, Morvin and Kvitebjørn high-pressure fields, the experience from Gudrun may be useful during the engineering and development of the Valemon field," indicates Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project.

Like Gudrun, the Valemon field also has high pressure and high temperature, and production from this field is also scheduled for start-up in 2014.

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