LONDON – Drilling at the Southwark gas field in the UK southern North Sea has been further delayed, due to ROV-related problems.
Following repairs, the jackup Noble Hans Deul was due to drill the first development well for operator IOG around 10 days ago. But repeated technical issues with the ROV meant it was not possible to safely spud the well.
A fully-functioning ROV is needed to survey the rig’s spud cans and ensure that it is correctly aligned before drilling gets under way.
A second, higher-spec ROV, along with spares and additional personnel, has arrived at the location but due to further technical problems, the team has so far been unable to complete the necessary surveys.
Repairs are under way to correct both ROVs, and the well management group is working on an alternative vessel-based solution as backup.
Nevertheless, IOG expects drilling to begin in the next few days, with Southwark delivering first gas in mid-2022.