The Culzean project
- Maersk Oil operates the Culzean development with a 49.99% interest. Its co-venturers are BP (Britoil) 32% and JX Nippon, 18.01%
- The field has resources estimated at 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent
- Production is expected to start in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years, with a plateau production of 60,000–90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
- Culzean was approved by the UK Oil & Gas Authority in August 2015
The drilling team gathered to watch a combination of footage from a remote submersible and data scrolling across the screens – torque, weight, pump pressure.
All attention in the doghouse – the all-purpose room next to the driller’s cabin on the Maersk Highlander rig, which is used as an office for the driller and storehouse for small objects – was on the start up of drilling on Culzean, the USD 4.5 billion Maersk Oil-operated North Sea project that is expected to deliver 5% of the UK’s gas needs.
It was vital to ensure the drill string was vertical, in order to start the well correctly and hence make the ensuing sections simpler, and the indicators showed that all the planning and preparation was paying off. Maersk Drilling acquired the newbuild Maersk Highlander in May and the teams from the two businesses have worked closely together to ensure the smooth start up.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the last three or four months to get the rig ready for operation, so it’s really exciting to start using it the way it was designed to be. They are challenging wells to drill and you’ve got to be very vigilant,” says Rohan Corlett, Maersk Oil’s Drilling Supervisor.