Chevron Preps to Drill Funiwa Relief Well Following Jackup Fire

Chevron Corp. on Monday reported it was finalizing plans to drill a relief well to control the Funiwa Deep 1A gas exploration well offshore Nigeria.

The jackup KS Endeavour (300' ILC) was drilling the well for Chevron subsidiary Chevron Nigeria Ltd. (CNL), when a fire broke out on Jan 16. The cause of that fire, which is still burning at the well site, is still under investigation.

"Based on the condition of the well, the safest way to control it is to drill a relief well that will kill the well at depth," Chevron said in a Jan. 23 statement.

KS Endeavor fire at the Funiwa Field in Nigeria on Jan. 23, 2012
Image of the KS Endeavor fire at the Funiwa Field in Nigeria on Jan. 23, 2012.

Chevron reported that the KS Endeavour structure can no longer be seen above the water.

Contrary to some media reports, no oil was spilled as a result of the fire. "With the gas flow, fine silt and mud on the seabed floor is disturbed and rises to the surface. Discoloration of the water is visible near the well site," Chevron commented.

Chevron noted it has hired local community residents as beach walkers to monitor the shoreline. No impacts to the beach have been reported at this time.

Chevron reported last week it was mobilizing the Transocean jackup GSF Baltic (375' ILC) to the site to drill the relief well.

One hundred fifty-two workers on the rig and Hercules Offshore liftboat Mako were evacuated due to the fire, which claimed the lives of two workers.

Hercules reported Jan. 17 that the 175-foot liftboat Mako was likely been lost in the fire after sustaining extensive damage. The vessel was providing excess storage services adjacent to the KS Endeavour when the fire erupted.

The Funiwa field is located approximately six miles offshore Nigeria and in approximately 40 feet of water. As a preventive measure, Chevron shut in production of approximately 2,000 bopd at the nearby North Apoi platform.

CNL holds a 40 percent interest in the well; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns 60 percent interest. FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited was operator of the rig at the time of the fire.


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