Serica Energy has hired Awilco Drilling's WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig for the intervention work on the Rhum-3 ("R3") well in the UK North Sea.
The 3rd-Generation, Enhanced Pacesetter, harsh-environment, mid-water, semi-submersible drilling rig will start operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 and last approximately 70 days. The contract follows a letter of intent the two companies signed in February.
The work program will involve recovering debris left in the well by the previous operator and removing an obstruction that is believed to be in place across parts of the downhole completion. The well will then be recompleted and put into production. R3 is already connected to the subsea production infrastructure.
"Serica has assessed the potential for COVID-19 related matters to impact the availability of equipment and or personnel and has determined that there are currently no related issues that will prevent the execution of this project," Serica said.
Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: "We are delighted that this work will proceed in 2020. With a strong balance sheet, no debt and limited decommissioning liabilities, Serica is well-placed to weather the wider industry downturn related to COVID-19 and low commodity prices. This resilient position is enabling us to also continue with our previously stated work programs."
Bringing the R3 well into operation will increase the production capacity of the Rhum field and will also improve the expected ultimate recovery of reserves. Having three rather than two wells will also provide more flexibility in the management of the field."
Rhum is a gas condensate field producing from two subsea wells, R1 and R2, tied into the Bruce facilities through a 45km pipeline. Rhum production is separated into gas and condensate and exported to St Fergus and Grangemouth respectively along with Bruce and Keith production. These wells are capable of producing at combined rates approaching 30,000 boe/d (gross), of which over 95% is gas.
The field has produced at relatively constant rates with limited reservoir decline evident through the past year. Average Rhum production from the two wells in 2019 was 13,775 boe/d net to Serica's 50% field interest. A third well, R3, requires intervention work before it can be brought on production.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, Awilco Drilling said WilPhoenix contract had an estimated duration of 70 days including preparatory works, and would start around 15 September 2020. WilPhoenix is expected to be available for future work from early December 2020.
The rig was supposed to start its 100-day P&A contract with Petrofac early in May, however, an agreement was reached to delay the start of the plug and abandonment works until May 25, 2020.