Gardline surveying i3’s North Sea assets ahead of drilling ops

Marine survey company Gardline has finally started survey work over oil company i3’s UK North Sea assets, following delays with the vessel back in 2018.

Gardline Observer
Gardline Observer / Image by Cavernia – Wikimedia, Shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

i3, working to develop its Liberator field, and test its Serenity prospect in the North Sea, has contracted Gardline to carry out site survey for its 2019 and 2020 drilling program plus the pipeline route for its Liberator Phase I development.

“Works have begun and are expected to complete during the month of March and are being conducted by the Ocean Observer survey vessel,” i3 said on Friday.

The survey by the Ocean Observer will cover the locations of Liberator’s Phase I production drill center and associated development wells, in addition to the planned export pipeline route. Also being surveyed are the Liberator A3 and Serenity S1 appraisal well locations.

i3 has said that the survey would enable the company to complete its Environmental Statement and provide the necessary engineering and environmental data to finalize its planning for its expected 2019 three-well drilling campaign and for inclusion in the Liberator Field Development Plan (“FDP”).

As reported in 2018, i3 had hired Gardline for the survey ahead of the expected submission of a revised and enlarged field development plan (FDP) to the OGA by the 2018 year-end.

The survey was then rescheduled “for the earliest good weather window in 2019” as the vessel was not made available before October 15 as agreed.

The company at the time said the rescheduling was done since the company was unwilling to face the potential for unnecessary cost overruns due to weather-related downtime, and that the timeline change for the survey would not affect the timing of the FDP approval, the Liberator development, or the expected first oil date.

‘Drilling to unlock Liberator’s potential’

Commenting on Friday, i3 CEO Majid Shafiq said: “With our recent fundraise, we are delighted to now be driving operational progress for i3’s operated three-well drilling campaign in the Greater Liberator Area in Summer 2019. The Directors and management team see massive opportunity in the Company and look forward to unlocking Liberator’s potential through the drill bit.” 

i3’s multi-well appraisal and development drilling program at Liberator oil field and Serenity prospect is expected to begin in June 2019, and is targeting STOIIPs of 314 and 197 million barrels respectively.

The company plans to drill the A3 appraisal well in Block 13/23c (“Liberator West”), which is expected to convert Liberator West resources into reserves.

i3 also plans to drill the first Liberator Phase I development well (“L2 Well”) in Block 13/23d, which will be suspended for completion in 2020, after which it plans to drill the S1 well into the Serenity prospect that i3 expects will prove a material extension of the neighboring Tain discovery.

i3 Energy in January signed a letter of intent with Dolphin Drilling for the use of a semi-submersible drilling rig for its 2019 drilling program. Subject to signing a firm contract, i3 Energy will use either Blackford Dolphin or Borgland Dolphin offshore drilling rig.

As for the development – Liberator Phase I – which i3 hopes to bring on stream by mid-2020, is being considered for development via an FPSO. So far, i3 has two options. Repsol Sinopec-operated Bleo Holm FPSO, or an FPSO to be directly leased by i3.

 Offshore Energy Today Staff

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