Brigham Exploration Updates Well Control Incident in Texas
On Sunday, March 24, 2002, Brigham experienced a loss of surface control while drilling the Burkhart #1, its first offset to the Staubach #1 discovery well for the Providence Field. While drilling at a depth of approximately 10,370 feet, in a shallower formation than the lower Frio interval currently producing in the Staubach #1, the Burkhart #1 encountered an unanticipated high pressure Frio gas reservoir. As a result of the associated gas kick, the Burkhart #1 lost circulation and the drill string became stuck in the hole. Brigham engaged Cudd Pressure Control, Inc. to attempt to retain control of the well and free the drill string. During those operations the well experienced an uncontrolled flow of natural gas to the surface.
The well is not on fire, and efforts to regain control are currently underway. Cudd estimates that the process of bringing the well under control could take four to seven days. Brigham has well control and liability insurance that it believes will be sufficient to cover any loss, including the potential drilling of a replacement well.
Bud Brigham, Brigham's CEO and President, commented, "We are grateful that only minor injuries were sustained and that Cudd was on-site when the incident occurred. We have a great deal of confidence in Cudd and are hopeful that the well can be controlled within the next several days. Fortunately, production from our Staubach #1 well has not been affected by this incident, in part because the gas flow in the Burkhart #1 is from a shallower interval than that producing in the Staubach #1. The Staubach #1 continues to produce at a daily rate of approximately 2,000 barrels of oil and 5.5 MMcf of natural gas per day."