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    IOG encounters challenges with UK drilling

Summary

The Noble Hans Deul rig "has experienced an increasing challenge with seabed conditions that, if not remediated, would compromise rig stability."

by: Joseph Murphy

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IOG encounters challenges with UK drilling

IOG has reported drilling problems at a development well targeting the Southwark prospect in the south North Sea, the company reported on January 10.

The Noble Hans Deul rig began drilling the well on December 30, but "has experienced an increasing challenge with seabed conditions that, if not remediated, would compromise rig stability."

"Technical personnel have explored potential options to manage these challenges," IOG said. "However, on Friday 7 January, the rig owner concluded that, as a prudent precautionary measure, temporary re-location of the rig will be required to facilitate seabed remediation and enable safe continuation of Southwark drilling operations. This course of action is now in motion."

IOG said the rig would remain offshore until the issue had been rectified. 

"This is a frustrating but absolutely necessary step to ensure we can drill and complete the Southwark production wells in a fully safe manner, which is always our foremost priority," IOG CEO Andrew Hockey said. "Our team is working around the clock with our drilling contractors Noble Corporation and Petrofac to minimise the interruption and resume the Southwark drilling programme at the earliest opportunity."