Photo: Uranus rig; Source: Trillion Energy

Jack-up rig kicks off Black Sea drilling campaign

Following delays, Canada’s oil and gas producer Trillion Energy has started its 2022 – 2023 drilling campaign on a natural gas field in the Black Sea off Türkiye. In addition, the firm revised its timeline for the first gas from this campaign, which is now anticipated in early November.

Trillion disclosed on Monday that it has started its multi-well drilling programme on the SASB natural gas field, after the arrival of the Uranus rig which mobilised last week following delays due to maintenance and weather conditions in the Black Sea.

The firm hired this rig in February 2022 when its subsidiary, Park Place Energy Turkey Limited, and Romania’s GSP Offshore inked a memorandum of understanding, which was followed by a definitive offshore drilling services contract three months later. Come July, Trillion explained that this rig was released from its previous project and was getting ready for transit to the SASB field.

The following month, Trillion confirmed that the rig was expected to arrive at this shallow water conventional gas field on 29 August 2022 to undertake this multi-well drilling programme, which was scheduled to start on or about 1 September 2022. However, after deficiencies with the top drive and ballast tank were identified during the rig inspection, the start of this drilling campaign was delayed.

Earlier this month, the company confirmed that the Uranus rig was slated to depart for the field on 8 September and scheduled to arrive on 11 September with the first new gas production expected around the end of October 2022.

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While announcing the start of drilling operations, Trillion explained that the Uranus rig is situated at the Akçakoca platform where the first wells are in the process of being drilled. The firm also outlined that a total of three directional wells will be drilled from this platform, along with one recompletion of an existing well. These four operations are expected to be completed within six months.

Uranus rig; Source: Trillion Energy
Uranus rig; Source: Trillion Energy

Arthur Halleran, Trillion CEO, remarked: “The commencement of drilling operations marks a transformative step towards the company’s bright future, with drilling to lock in much-needed locally sourced gas supplies for the winter months at prices over $30/mcf. These long reach advanced engineering production wells will allow gas production to immediately be sold under our existing gas contract where we get paid monthly and can then use the revenues to continue to drill new wells.”

The Canadian player originally planned to pair completion of the Akçakoca wells to reduce cost and rig skid times, but each well will produce gas upon completion to be sold to the market, thus, the firm has altered its previous timeline, so that, the first gas production is now expected in early November 2022.

Once it completes the work at the Akçakoca platform, the Uranus rig will move to the next of the three platforms at SASB to continue the work programme as the firm plans to drill/complete these initial seven wells followed by another estimated ten wells prior to undertaking further exploration activities.