As Eland Oil & Gas suspends operations after component fails during drilling
Aberdeen-based Eland Oil & Gas has suspended well operations at one of its promising Nigerian sites due to technical problems.
The firm has been operating in West Africa with a focus on Nigeria working with joint-venture subsidiary, Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria, where drilling components failed on its Gbetiokun-4 production well. The company must now wait for the arrival of specialist tools to get the well back up.
Eland is being sold for £382 million to Nigerian firm Seplat, an oil and natural gas producer in the Niger Delta area and a supplier of natural gas to the domestic market, listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange since April 2014.
Eland suspended development of the Gbetiokun-4 well despite successful drilling through 345 net feet of oil-bearing sand and encountering three target reservoirs. The well reached a depth of 10,083 ft but attempts to set dual packers were unsuccessful and the required pressure could not be achieved.
After completing diagnostic tests, it was determined that the failed component would have to be replaced. The firm decided to suspend operations while equipment is delivered from outside Nigeria.
The rig team will suspend the Gbetiokun-4 well to make it safe and move to an adjacent slot to commence operations on the next planned development well, Gbetiokun-5. This is expected to be spudded in the next two weeks.
The re-entry may involve use of a dedicated hydraulic workover unit rather than a drill rig. Once the remaining completion equipment is recovered, it is anticipated that a new completion will be installed and the well brought into production shortly thereafter.
Eland chief executive George Maxwell said: “The challenges on Gbetiokun-4 highlight the complexities that can occur in the drilling and completion sequence. Over the past three years we have successfully overcome these types of equipment challenges during our ongoing drilling campaign and we are confident that when the required equipment arrives in country, we will move forward with the completion of Gbetiokun-4 and bring further production online as planned.
“The production delay is clearly disappointing. However, with the excellent reservoir results witnessed while drilling we anticipate strong production performance from Gbetiokun-4 once online. Moving the rig on to Gbetiokun-5 while awaiting the arrival of required Gbetiokun-4 completion equipment is the most efficient move at this time and continues the drive towards increased production on Gbetiokun.”