STAVANGER, Norway – Development drilling for the Gudrun project in the North Sea is making good progress, according to operator Statoil.
The West Epsilon rig started work on the first of seven production wells on Sept. 6. All will be pre-drilled through the jacket ahead of installation of the topsides in summer 2013. Pre-drilling prior to the start of production is necessary due to the field characteristics, which include high pressure and temperature. One reason is to avoid depletion problems - reservoir depressurization would further complicate drilling.
Following installation of the topsides, all the pre-drilled wells will be completed and prepared for production. The drilling program will stretch into 2014, with first oil and gas slated for 1Q 2014.
In addition to Gudrun’s wells, Statoil hopes to secure approval to drill a production well on the Brynhild discovery.
Gudrun’s platform will have 16 wells slots. Spare slots can be used for other accumulations or to boost Gudrun’s output.
“While the Gudrun project has been able to build on drilling experience from the Kristin, Morvin, and Kvitebjørn high-pressure fields, the experience from Gudrun may be useful during the engineering and development of the Valemon field,” said Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project.
Valemon is another high pressure and high temperature field, also scheduled for start-up in 2014.