Centrica gets go-ahead for North Sea coiled tubing shallow borehole

Offshore staff

OSLO, NorwayCentrica has approval from Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway for a novel drilling exercise in the southern Norwegian North Sea.

The Island Constructor vessel will drill a pilot shallow borehole to investigate the possible presence of shallow gas in block 8/10 in production license 405, close to the BP-operated Ula field and around 263 km (163 mi) southwest of Stavanger.

Centrica plans to drill to a depth of 423 m (1,388 ft) below the seabed. If it can establish there is no shallow gas in the area, further activity can continue on the prospect. The operation is expected to take around 12 days to complete. 

Island Constructor was originally designed for light well intervention, but has been modified to allow it to drill shallow boreholes using coiled tubing. It is the first time the technique will be used to drill a well from a facility of this type, according to PSA.

“Coiled tubing drilling from a facility like this is significantly cheaper than using a traditional drilling installation,” said PSA head of section Monica Ovesen.

“The experience and knowledge gained from this drilling may prove useful when it comes to employing cost-effective drilling methods when conditions permit.”



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