Shell Canada is moving on to its next prospect in the Shelburne basin, offshore Nova Scotia, after failing to find commercial hydrocarbons at its first exploration well in the program.
Map of the Shelburne basin exploration project, from CNSOPB.
Drilling at the Cheshire L-97 has been completed and was proved to be non-commercial, partner Suncor Energy confirmed.
The well was spudded on 23 October 2015, and as of 27 July, reached 6838m measured depth (MD) and 6844m total vertical depth (TVD), according to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB).
The deepwater Shelburne basin exploration project is approximately 250km offshore, south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and includes six exploration licenses. This project will help determine the potential presence of hydrocarbons in a geographical area known as the Southwest Scotian Shelf, in water depths ranging from 1500-3500m.
“We are now taking steps to permanently seal the well in accordance with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board’s regulatory requirements,” Shell Canada spokesman Cameron Yost said, according to the Chronicle Herald in Canada.
A sidetrack to the well, Cheshire L-97A was spudded on 27 July, and as of 14 September, the well is at 7068m MD and 7065m TVD, according to CNSOPB. The sidetrack’s projected MD and TVD are set at 7532m.
“Once this work is completed, we will move on to drill Monterey Jack, the second of our two-well drilling program,” Yost said.
The initial phase of Shell’s Shelburne basin project involves drilling two exploratory wells, Cheshire and Monterey Jack. This first phase of this campaign is expected to extend over approximately 11-12 months.
Monterey Jack, located some 120km from the Cheshire well, will be drilled using the same drillship, the Stena IceMAX.
In addition to the Stena IceMAX drillship, Shell will also have one dedicated stand-by vessel, three offshore supply vessels (OSVs), with one of the OSVs acting as a back-up stand-by vessel, as well as dedicated Sikorsky S-92 helicopters based at the project’s heliport at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. An onshore supply base, including a supply yard, laydown area, and a quay-side mud plant, will be located at the Woodside Supply Base in Dartmouth, according to the CNSOPB.
In June, Shell was cleared to resume drilling at Cheshire L-97 following a review to its procedures after an incident in March that saw a 2km riser section drop to the seafloor.
Shell Canada is the operator of the Shelburne project with 50% interest. Partners include ConocoPhillips Canada East Coast Partnership (30%) and Suncor (20%).