Pack ice forces suspension at Mariner I-85 well

Canadian Superior Energy Inc. has temporarily suspended well operations at the Canadian Superior El Paso Mariner I-85 well due to a large patch of pack ice, 40 km north of Sable Island, approaching the well site area from the north.

Canadian Superior Energy Inc. has temporarily suspended well operations at the Canadian Superior El Paso Mariner I-85 well due to a large patch of pack ice, 40 km north of Sable Island, approaching the well site area from the north. Ice concentrations within the patch are at 60% coverage of medium to thin first-year ice of 70 - 120 cm in thickness. Floe size within the patch range from 10 - 30 m in diameter.

El Paso and Canadian Superior declared a Level II severe weather (pack ice) emergency for the Mariner I-85 well site. As a precautionary measure, operations at the Mariner I-85 are temporarily suspended and the well secured. Steps have been taken to remove all personnel from theRowan Gorilla V drilling rig as a precautionary measure. The Mariner block exploration well emergency response plan has been fully implemented and additional vessels, including the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Terry Fox, which has been dispatched to the site as an additional safety measure, are assisting in implementing the necessary ice management measures to prevent the pack ice from impacting the rig.

"A full suite of electric wireline logs, modular dynamic tests (MDT's), and a side wall coring program had been completed when the situation arose," Mike Coolen, Canadian Superior's director of East Coast operations, said. "This will provide us with additional time to fully evaluate this data. Although difficult to predict the weather with certainty, we would reasonably expect to be back in full operations within the next seven days, just as soon as the pack ice is no longer a problem. We would expect our insurances to address this business disruption delay."

The Mariner I-85 well is one of the deepest that will be drilled offshore this year in North America. The exploration well is 290 km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Three world-class prospects have been identified for drilling on the Mariner block (EL 2409) using high-resolution seismic. The block encompasses 101,800 acres and directly offsets five significant discoveries near Sable Island, including the ExxonMobil Venture natural gas field. The Mariner well is a high-temperature, high-pressure well using the latest in drilling technology to evaluate one of the three above mentioned structures.

03/09/04

More in Drilling & Completion