Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor announced on Tuesday its plans to drill new wells in its North Sea Martin Linge field, after discovering that several previously drilled wells do not have the necessary barriers to be safe enough to bring online.
Sine 2018, when the company took over the field operatorship from Total, it has performed an "in-depth" analysis of the wells drilled by the previous operator.
"This review concludes that several of the wells do not have the necessary barriers. Equinor, therefore, plans to drill new wells in order to ensure safe production," the company announced.
Equinor found deficiencies in four gas wells drilled at Martin Linge before 2018, rendering them inappropriate for safe production.
“The wells are considered safe as they are now, but we will keep them plugged and under continuous monitoring until we have reduced the pressure in the formation by producing from other wells. Safety is always priority number one,” said Geir Tungesvik, acting executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.
The Martin Linge plant is designed for a mixture of oil and gas, and needs gas wells that produce at a certain rate for start-up and production, Equinor explained.
“Our number one priority is to ensure safe start-up of the field. We will therefore plan to drill up to three new gas wells in addition to the two remaining wells from the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the field to produce as originally planned,” Tungesvik said.
The costs of drilling up to three new wells total about NOK 2 billion (nearly $219,000).
-Equinor cooperates with Noble Lloyd Noble
Equinor has also signed a three-well contract with Noble Corp., an offshore drilling contractor, to use the Noble Lloyd Noble jack-up drilling rig on the Valemon field, offshore Norway in the North Sea. Drilling is scheduled to commence in summer 2021.
The partners of the Valemon license are Equinor with a 66.78% share as operator, Petoro with a 30% stake and Shell with a 3.22% share interest.
By Sibel Morrow