DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Shell has re-engaged Gulf Drilling International (GDI) to provide drilling services for offshore exploration in Qatar’s North field.
This third contract from Shell covers drilling in the pre-Khuff interval of block D using GDI’s jackup Al-Khor. The latter was deemed “Most Improved Rig” in Shell’s global rig ranking last year.
Al-Khor is GDI’s first newbuild rig, which was delivered from Keppel Fels shipyard in December 2006 and entered service early in 2007. The rig was bigger and with more wide-ranging capacities than any of the existing offshore rigs the company was using, allowing it to bid for most available projects offshore Qatar.
“We anticipated…greater need for long-reach horizontal wells and advantages of an increased cantilever outreach providing a wider drilling envelope when jacked-up against a platform,” the company said in a statement.
In May 2010, Shell and PetroChina signed a new exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with Qatar Petroleum for Qatar block D.
During the initial five-year exploration period the partners will drill for natural gas in an area of 8,089 sq km (3,123 sq mi) on- and offshore Qatar, close to Ras Laffan. The block D concession encompasses the pre-Khuff geological intervals.
Shell and PetroChina will also implement a program that includes exploration technical studies, 2D and 3D seismic acquisition, processing, re-processing and interpretation, and drilling numerous exploration wells into the pre-Khuff formation.