LONDON: Serica Energy plc announced the spud of the Columbus 23/16f-CDev1 development well in the UK Central North Sea which will be drilled to a total depth of 17,600ft and will include a 5,600ft horizontal section.
The well is being drilled with the Maersk Resilient Heavy Duty Jack Up rig and is expected to take around 70 days.
The Columbus development area is 35km north east of the Shearwater production facilities and will be drained by a single producing well tied into the existing Arran to Shearwater pipeline. A recent Competent Person’s Report estimates the Columbus gross undeveloped 2P reserves to be in excess of 14 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
After drilling this development well, an open-hole sand-screen completion will be installed and a short clean-up flow and well test will be performed to provide production data and prepare for flowing into the export system. The well will then be suspended.
Later in the year, the well will be connected to the Arran pipeline, through which Columbus production will be exported along with Arran Field production.
When the production reaches the Shearwater platform, the gas and liquids will be separated, and the gas exported via the SEGAL line to St Fergus and the liquids through the Forties Pipeline System to Cruden Bay.
Production is expected to commence in early Q4 2021, with average gross production forecast to be around 7,000 boe/d, of which over 70% is gas.
Serica is Operator and has a 50% interest in this low risk development opportunity offering attractive returns for the Company. Our partners are Waldorf Production UK Ltd (25%) and Tailwind Mistral Ltd. (25%).
Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: “I am delighted that drilling operations have commenced on the development well, which is a significant milestone for the Company as Columbus is the first development project that Serica has undertaken as operator in the North Sea.
We have worked closely with our partners and with infrastructure owners to design a cost-effective development which minimises environmental impact through, among other things, the extensive use of pre-existing infrastructure. Over 70% of Columbus production will be natural gas which is a key element of the UK’s energy transition.
Elsewhere, the Rhum R3 intervention project is progressing towards completion and, following operations to the reinstate production, is expected to make a significant contribution to overall field performance.
Columbus and the Rhum R3 intervention work are part of a continuing programme of investment in our portfolio which is planned to continue in 2022 with the North Eigg exploration well. Our commitment to this investment is part of our long-term strategy to generate value from our portfolio of UK assets and leveraging our internal skillsets and strong financial position.”