Photo: Uranus jack-up rig; Source: Trillion Energy

Spud date for Black Sea campaign postponed while rig undergoes repairs

Canada’s oil and gas producer Trillion Energy has revealed that the start of its 2022 – 2023 drilling campaign on a natural gas field in the Black Sea offshore Türkiye has been delayed as a rig, chosen to carry out these drilling operations, needs to complete preventive maintenance prior to mobilisation.

A rig for this drilling campaign was hired in February 2022 when Trillion’s 100 per cent subsidiary, Park Place Energy Turkey Limited, and Romania’s GSP Offshore inked a memorandum of understanding for the Uranus jack-up rig. This was followed three months later by a definitive offshore drilling services contract. In late July, Trillion explained that this rig was released from its previous project and was getting ready for transit to the SASB field, which is a shallow water conventional gas field in the Black Sea.

Earlier this month, Trillion confirmed that the Uranus drilling rig was expected to be approved for departure on 26 August after a thorough inspection and permitting process and following the final inspection of the firm’s third-party rig inspectors, ModuSpec. Afterwards, the rig was expected to arrive at the SASB natural gas field on 29 August 2022 to undertake this multi-well drilling programme, which was scheduled to start on or about 1 September 2022.

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In an update on Tuesday, Trillion Energy disclosed that during the rig inspection deficiencies with the top drive and ballast tank were identified, which require repairs. The company explained that these repairs, which are required for worker and rig safety, are expected to be completed this week. Once this has been done, the rig mobilisation is expected to start.

Arthur Halleran, Trillion CEO, remarked: “Overall, we are satisfied with the progress and results of the rig inspection. The repairs and maintenance currently being completed are preventative in nature which ensures the safety of the drilling rig personnel. All workers have the right to work in a safe environment and return home after a job. We look forward to the upcoming commencement of our planned drilling programme.”

When the rig arrives, it will be positioned at the Akcakoca offshore production platform. Once the rig is in position, it will take three days before the first well is spud, according to the Canadian player.

Initially, Trillion’s multi-well development programme includes seven natural gas production wells set to come online during a time when “acute natural gas shortages are menacing” Europe and Turkey while “natural gas prices continue to spike, breaking historical records; the prospect of a cold winter looms with the worst shortages expected yet to come.”