Spirit Energy Contracts Rig for UKCS Infill Well

Spirit Energy Contracts Rig for UKCS Infill Well
The Maersk Resolve, above, will drill a development well at Grove North East in the UK North Sea. PHOTO SOURCE: Maersk Drilling

Spirit Energy has awarded Maersk Drilling a contract to drill one development well at Grove North East in the U.K. North Sea, Maersk reported this week.

Maersk Drilling expects the estimated 131-day contract for the Maersk Resolve harsh-environment jack-up rig to commence in March 2021, the firm noted in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. The drilling contractor added the approximately US$11.3-million firm contract includes additional services, mobilization and demobilization as well as an option to add plugging and abandonment of one well.

“We’re excited to be able to build on our relationship with Spirit Energy with our first U.K. well for the customer, for whom we previously completed a highly successful subsea development campaign in Norway,” Morten Kelstrup, Maersk Drilling’s chief operating officer, commented.

The subsea campaign to which Kelstrup referred was a 2018 project for Spirit using the Maersk Interceptor jack-up. According to Maersk Drilling’s website, the campaign accelerated first oil by five months.

“We will surely be able to continue our close collaboration and mutual focus on operational excellence, and in addition the campaign at Grove will benefit from Maersk Resolve’s experience with safety and efficiently drilling challenging Zechstein formations as part of the rig’s latest assignment in Dutch waters,” continued Kelstrup.

The drilling contractor pointed out the Maersk Resolve completed a campaign offshore the Netherlands in Oct. 2020 and is warm-stacked in Esbjerg, Denmark.

Five-year extension

In a separate written statement this week, Spirit Energy pointed out the life of the Grove field could be extended five years to 2028 if the infill well at Grove North East is successful.

“The infill well is planned to target the un-appraised north-eastern limb of the Grove field and has the potential of delivering 4.2 million barrels of oil equivalent additional reserves,” explained Neil McCulloch, Spirit’s executive vice president for technical and operated assets. “Further, it could add five new years to the life of the Grove field and improve the prospect of additional opportunities in the area.”

Spirit noted concept options that have been studied include:

  • horizontal, simple vertical and platform deviated wells
  • subsea tie-back concepts
  • an appraisal well before the development well from the platform.

“Based on the subsurface, well technical complexity, value and strategic fit criteria, we have decided on a platform deviated well,” stated McCulloch. “We believe this is the optimal way forward and a robust well design has been developed – our team is experienced in drilling similar wells in the Southern North Sea, including other wells in the Grove area.

Operator Spirit owns a 92.5-percent interest in Grove North East and Grove, located on the U.K. Continental Shelf near the U.K.-Netherlands median line. Spirit also operates the Markham J6-A facilities, which process gas from Grove. The West Gas Transport pipeline system subsequently carries the gas to the Den Helper terminal in the Netherlands for additional processing, Rock Rose owns the remaining 7.5-percent stake in the license.

“It’s an investment that fits well with our strategy and is important to the Greater Markham Area,” said McCulloch.

Spirit noted the U.K. Oil and Gas Authority is supportive of the Grove North East appraisal well, adding the approval is through the Well Operations and Notifications System (WONS) process.

“After a challenging time for the industry in 2020, we welcome this positive news for the basin, with activity at the Grove field bringing opportunities for the U.K.’s supply chain,” commented Alistair Macfarlane, area manager for the Southern North Sea and East Irish Sea with the Oil and Gas Authority.

Spirit aims to begin production from the infill well during the third quarter of this year.

To contact the author, email mveazey@rigzone.com.



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