AGR was engaged by ENGIE E&P to drill a wildcat well in a prospect named Cara, near the Gjøa field in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea.
But this was more than a typical wildcat drilling project. In addition to the commercial risk presented, the location – close to shore and in an area that experiences a high volume of marine traffic – created further challenges which demanded very careful management.
With AGR’s knowledge and resources, the field was a commercial success and the third largest oil discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in 2016. It was also a Health, Safety and Environment achievement all the team members can reflect on with satisfaction.
High Alert HSE readiness demanded
The location of the well posed significant HSE challenges, which were a major consideration in the selection of AGR for the contract. Situated just 35km from the mainland, where the water depth is 349 meters and marine traffic increases in volume, this was a high alert well. The project called upon the knowledge and deep understanding of regulatory requirements that we have gained from more than 30 years working with wells in sensitive locations.
The specialist AGR team deployed needed to mitigate the environmental risks through detailed planning and monitoring from the start. The busy shipping routes in the location also meant critical measures needed to be implemented to protect the safety of the drilling crew and vessels entering the area.
The AGR Solution
A wildcat tamed and safe
The right well design and the appropriate contracting strategies were central to the cost effectiveness and success of this project. But so too was the dedication and experience of the well team members who implemented and worked to rigorous HSE procedures throughout.
AGR assembled a highly qualified team to manage all operational aspects of the project, handpicked from the company’s database of the world’s most experienced E&P drilling professionals. Well testing competence for one and dual zone was a prerequisite in the selection of personnel.
In addition to providing an expert team, AGR deployed two buoys equipped with AIS (Automatic Identification System) north and south of the rig to provide early warning to vessels nearby.
An outstanding result in a sensitive situation
The Cara well was completed ahead of time and below budget successfully from a depth of 2700 meters, delivering a good return to its investors. The very sensitive HSE challenges of this particular site were also met without incident, thanks to meticulous adherence to best HSE practices by a team that knew the vital importance of their responsibilities.