Noble rig ready for drilling from North Sea Southwark platform

Dec. 14, 2021
The jackup Noble Hans Deul has reached the 500-m zone at IOG plc’s Southwark platform in the UK southern North Sea.

Offshore staff

LONDON – The jackup Noble Hans Deul has reached the 500-m (1,6400-ft) zone at IOG plc’s Southwark platform in the UK southern North Sea, following repairs to one of the rig’s legs.

Development drilling at Saturn is two months behind schedule after the rig had to be taken off-station, but first gas should now follow by mid-2022, following the planned installation in 1Q of the 6-km (3.7-mi) Saturn Banks pipeline extension to the platform.

Thereafter, the rig will transfer to drill the Goddard and Kelham North/Central appraisal wells, with IOG assessing reservoir and production data from the Southwark wells 1 and 2 to optimize the Southwark 3 well plan.

At the Bacton gas reception terminal on the Norfolk coast in eastern England, the company is working with terminal operator Perenco (UK) and on-site contractors to complete remaining recommissioning needed to bring gas from its Saturn Banks Phase 1 project onstream.

A new 45-m (147-ft) emergency vent stack is in place, electrical and instrumentation activities are under way, and powering up and testing of onshore systems should start shortly.

Final steps to first gas include commissioning of control and communications systems and backgassing of the pipeline system before opening the Blythe and Elgood wells.

As for Saturn Banks Phase 2, IOG expects to submit its schedule for concept selection and sanction for the Nailsworth development to the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority this month.

Nailsworth, 19 km (11.8 mi) northwest of the Southwark field in 25-40 m (82-131 ft) of water, will likely be the first Phase 2 field to be developed. The company is developing new static and dynamic subsurface models based on reprocessed 3D seismic to refine its estimate of the recoverable gas.

Gas production from Nailsworth should be exported via the Southwark platform and Saturn Banks pipeline system.

More 3D seismic is undergoing reprocessing over the P2589 license to pre-stack depth migration in order to re-assess the extent of the Panther and Grafton discoveries.