Cement damage halts East Rochelle drilling in North Sea

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Endeavour International Corp. (NYSE: END) has run into problems with its East Rochelle development in the UK central North Sea.

Following a severe storm that lasted several days, the company used an ROV on a routine inspection of the conductor, wellhead, and BOP systems on the East Rochelle well (15/27-E1y). This revealed that the cement around the top of the 36-in. conductor pipe that anchors the well to the seafloor had been removed, creating a non-uniform hole around the conductor. The hole extended around 4-7 ft (1.2-2.1 m) in diameter and was 25 ft (8 m) deep.

As a result, drilling operations on the well have been suspended. The company is trying to identify the cause of the cement loss and to evaluate whether there may have been fatigue damage to the conductor itself. Work to repair the cementing around the conductor pipe has been completed. 

Preparations are under way to relocate the semisubmersible Transocean Prospect to the West Rochelle area to start drilling the second production well, allowing for start-up of the Rochelle development. This well is expected to take around 120 days to drill.

Once the investigation and fatigue analysis are concluded, Endeavour expects drilling to resume on East Rochelle. The field is in blocks 15/26b, 15/26c, and 15/27.


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