New deal for drilling ops signals rising confidence in North Sea for UK well engineering specialist

UK well engineering specialist sees new deal as reflection of growing confidence in North Sea

Following a prolonged period of lower investment in the North Sea, the UK’s well engineering and project management specialist, Fraser Well Management (FWM), believes that its new contract with North Sea Natural Resources (NSNRL) for well operator services demonstrates the growing confidence in the hydrocarbon potential of the area.

Fraser Well Management

Fraser Well Management informed on Tuesday that it had been awarded a contract for well operator services by North Sea Natural Resources to deliver the Devil’s Hole Horst (DHH) appraisal well in the Central North Sea.

Niels Arveschoug, NSNRL’s CEO, remarked: “Based on their proven track record of delivering exploration and appraisal wells as well operator on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), we know FWM are ideally equipped to drill the DHH appraisal well for us within our desired time frame.”

NSNRL was awarded UK licence P2321 in the 29th round. This licence consists of seven contiguous blocks covering the DHH prospect, approximately 100 miles or 160.9 km east of Aberdeen.

Nick Ford, FWM Managing Director, commented: “NSNRL’s contract award reflects the increased confidence in the North Sea after two years of understandably low investment. We are pleased to see that our well operator model provides organisations such as NSNRL the ability to develop their prospects in a safe, aligned and cost-effective manner. We are looking forward to working with NSNRL on this exciting project.”

According to Fraser Well Management, the recent reinterpretation of two test wells drilled on the DHH prospect 50 years ago indicated evidence of hydrocarbons within the Permian Zechstein formation and further analysis performed by NSNRL show strong indications that substantial volumes of oil may be found in the Jurassic Fulmar Sands, which was overlooked in the original test wells.

Furthermore, NSNRL believes DHH’s net mean prospective resources could amount to 2bn barrels of oil, of which 1.8bn has been verified by oil and gas consultant Gaffney, Cline & Associates. Therefore, the company plans to drill the appraisal well 27/4-A and execute a 3D seismic programme as early as the end of 2022. Based on FWM’s statement, North Sea Natural Resources is currently in the process of securing investor funding for the seismic and appraisal drilling programmes.

Moreover, the DHH contract provides additional work to Fraser Well Management’s projects group – in addition to the current work scope – driving growth for the firm and creating new jobs at the company’s Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth offices.

“They have an excellent track record, with demonstrable experience, competence, organisation and systems. This coupled with their ongoing familiarity with the regulations, and the specific requirements, to safely deliver wells on a turnkey basis,” added Arveschoug within his statement about the contract award to FWM.

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It is worth reminding that Fraser Well Management launched a new well operatorship division back in July 2020 to provide end-to-end turnkey well operator support for the entire lifecycle of oil and gas wells.