Oil explorers drilling in the waters north of the Falkland Islands have suspended work on the second well of their 2015 current six-well drilling campaign after a technical problem, two of the companies involved said on Friday.
Operator Premier Oil has suspended operations on the 4/20-1 (Isobel Deep) well, following a problem detected on the drilling rig blowout preventer, BOP, according to partner Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd.
Ocean Rig semisubmersible Eirik Raude is performing the drilling program. The company says that the rig, completed in 2002, is equipped for drilling operations in water depths from 500 to 2,500 meters.
FOGL said that the problem was detected after the 13⅜-in. casing was set, performed at a water depth of 1,274m, located on license PL004a. The well was spud on April 8, after success in the first well Zebedee.
The BOP has been brought to surface for inspection and repair, which are anticipated to take 10-14 days. While these repairs are being undertaken, the rig will be utilized to drill the top-hole sections and set the conductor(s) on the Chatham and/or Jayne East projects.
It is anticipated that the repairs to the BOP will take in the order of 10-14 days, FOGL said in a statement. The rig will return to Isobel Deep to continue drilling once the BOP repairs have been completed.
FOGL has a 40% interest in the license. Partner Rockhopper Exploration holds 24% and operator Premier Oil holds the remaining 36%.
The current round of drilling includes five wells to the north of the Falklands and one to the southeast. Originally the program was four and two, but given the greater cost of drilling in the south, it was decided to concentrate on the north, where earlier this month the Zebedee well was declared an oil and gas discovery. Each drill in north Falklands is estimated to cost 50 million dollars.
According to the official release from Premier Oil at the time, the Zebedee well (14/15b-5) in PL004b discovered 25 meters of net oil-bearing reservoir and 17 m of net gas-bearing reservoir in the Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands government which awards the exploration licences congratulated Premier and their partners on this early success, which provides an excellent start to the 2015 exploration program.
”The Zebedee discovery identifies additional resources that could form part of subsequent phases of the Sea Lion field development”, said Jan Cheek member of the elected Legislative Assembly and Mineral Resources portfolio holder.