Centrica Energy, stand 5D50, has completed its longest horizontal well using the Noble Julie Robertson (NJR) jack-up rig on the southern North Sea gas field.
Running 19,000feet (6km), the extended reach well was drilled between December 2012 and May 2013 and was 15% deeper than any previously drilled by the NJR.
The project was supported by extended reach drilling (ERD) consultancy Merlin ERD and is part of the £400m York development.
First gas was achieved in March and peak production is expected to reach 120 million cu ft of gas a day.
Neil Dewhirst, drilling superintendent for the NJR, said: "York covers a large area and, as we only have one drilling platform on site, we have to drill far from it to maximise hydrocarbon recovery from the reserves available.
"We’re drilling horizontally, at greater distances than previously achieved, from quite a small rig relative to the complexity of the wells in the York field.
"The southern North Sea is a unique area to drill. Rock formations are a lot tougher and shallower than in other areas of the North Sea, with thick salt sections adding to the technical challenges of the drilling operation."
The deeper drilling goes in a well, the smaller its diameter should be to maintain well integrity. Verification modelling carried out by Merlin ERD on the engineering solution devised confirmed Centrica Energy had taken the right approach.
Neil Dewhirst adds: “Now we’ve proven our capability here, we can consider applying extended reach wells on fields which were previously considered too far from existing platforms."
The York project is a partnership between Centrica Energy and Centrica Storage. Centrica Storage will process the gas through its Easington terminal, and sell condensate from the field, as well as providing logistics and other back up services for the platform.
Image: Noble Julie Robertson at the York platform.