Centrica Resources has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority to drill a shallow borehole (pilot hole) down to a depth of 423m below the seabed in the North Sea near the Ula field.
The purpose of drilling is to establish that there is no shallow gas in an area, to allow further activity in the prospect.
The well is located in production license 405, operated by Centrica, in block 8/10 in the North Sea, close to the Ula field and around 263km southwest of Stavanger. The well will be located at:
"It is a common practice to investigate the risk of shallow gas occurrences using a pilot hole before starting exploration drilling and developing a location," said Monica Ovesen, PSA head of section.
The well is to be drilled by the Island Constructor mobile drilling facility, which has been modified to enable drilling in shallow boreholes using coiled tubing. Drilling is estimated to last for 12 days.
"Coiled tubing drilling from a facility like this is significantly cheaper than using a traditional drilling installation, but it's fully warranted," said Ovesen. "To see coiled tubing drilling being trialed from this type of facility will be interesting. The experience and knowledge gained from this drilling may prove useful when it comes to employing cost-effective drilling methods when conditions permit."
Image: Island Constructor/Petroleum Safety Authority