Photo: Blythe platform; Source: IOG

IOG sketches well plan for North Sea gas project

UK-headquartered IOG plc is planning to drill the second Blythe production well directly after the Southwark A1 well in the first half of 2023 as part of the Saturn Banks Project – Phase 1 in the UK Southern North Sea.

In an announcement from 22 December, IOG stated that all subsea work had been completed for the Southwark A2 well, and well test and clean-up are planned for this week, with final hook-up and commissioning and safety reviews then leading to first gas by mid-January.

The Shelf Perseverance rig is planned to then re-enter the A1 well, complete and stimulate it in the first quarter and bring it onstream by the early second quarter.

Furthermore, the Blythe H2 well is planned to be drilled directly after Southwark A1 and targeted onstream by early Q3 2023, with the two-well appraisal campaign to follow directly after.

According to IOG, detailed well design is already well advanced, building off earlier development work on the Blythe H1 well and, integrating those learnings, the intention is to target the field’s central high, which has no observed faults and has potentially better reservoir quality.

The final extension option in the company’s 2020 Shelf Perseverance rig contract is to be exercised for H2. This second well has been approved internally and is subject to joint venture partner and regulatory approval processes.

“Bringing new wells onstream, improving platform reliability and managing liquids flows will enable us to maximise production and cash flow. Importantly, we have made good progress at Southwark, with the A2 well expected onstream by mid-January. The A1 well is then expected to strengthen our production profile from early Q2. With Blythe H2 and the Kelham and Goddard appraisal wells to follow, 2023 is set to be a high-impact year for IOG,” said Rupert Newall, CEO of IOG.

“The Blythe H2 well is a compelling investment for us to accelerate reserves recovery, mitigate water production and maximise cash flow. We expect it to pay back very quickly, benefitting from our final rig extension option negotiated in 2020 and the spare well slot designed into the Blythe platform.”

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Since the November restart from its Saturn Banks Project – Phase 1 in the UK sector of the North Sea, IOG said platform generator and MEG pump faults, plus an unplanned Bacton terminal shutdown, have limited Blythe field gross production to 17.1 mmscf/d at 81 per cent uptime, while current production rate is approximately 22 mmscf/d.

In addition, Elgood is currently shut-in with further production expected to require lower liquid volumes in the Saturn Banks Pipeline System (SBPS), after which it will be produced cyclically.

To remind, IOG disclosed on 30 September that the Perenco Bacton terminal was scheduled to undergo annual maintenance in November during which Saturn Banks production was expected to be suspended for up to two weeks.

However, on 19 October, the UK player changed the duration, explaining that the production from the project would be shut-in for a total of four weeks to enable the final subsea connection to Southwark. This included depressurizing the line ahead of the Bacton terminal shutdown.