Oil and gas firm Serica Energy on Monday announced successful flow test results from its Columbus development well in the UK North Sea.

The well was drilled to a measured depth of 17,600ft with a horizontal section of over a mile in length in the Forties Sandstone formation. 

The completion equipment has been successfully installed into the well and a flow test has now been performed, Serica said.

“A stabilized flow rate of 38.0mmscf/d of gas and 1,560bbls/d of condensate has been achieved through a 56/64ths inch choke. This rate was at the upper end of the pre-drill range of expected outcomes and was constrained by the surface well test equipment on board the Maersk Resilient heavy-duty jack-up drilling rig,” Serica said.

To remind, Serica had in May hit a snag with its Columbus development well when it encountered problems with the installation of sand screens, and said it would have to re-drill it, costing it an extra £3 million (USD 4.23 million). (Read more.)

The Columbus development area is located 35km northeast of Shell’s Shearwater production platform and will be drained by a single producing well tied into the existing Arran to Shearwater pipeline.The Columbus will be developed via Shell’s Shearwater Platform – Image: Stuart Conway/Shell

When the production reaches the Shearwater platform, the gas and liquids will be separated, and the gas exported via the SEGAL line to St Fergus and the liquids through the Forties Pipeline System to Cruden Bay.

Serica said Tuesday that a diving support vessel would tie the subsea wellhead into the Arran Field export system directly after the Maersk Resilient rig leaves the location. 

“It is anticipated that Columbus start-up will occur in Q4 2021 once initial flow from the Arran field has reached stable conditions. Once it has been brought on stream it is anticipated that the Columbus well will produce at around 7,000boe/d (gross) of which at least 75% is expected to be gas,” the company said.

Columbus was discovered by Serica in 2006. Serica has a 50% interest and has been the operator throughout the exploration, appraisal and field development stages and has developed the field in conjunction with its partners Waldorf Production UK Ltd. and Tailwind Energy Ltd.

Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy said: “Columbus is part of Serica’s ongoing capital investment program which is aimed at boosting production in the second half of this year and beyond. I look forward to updating the market when we bring this Columbus well and the recently announced Rhum R3 well into production.”

 Credit: Serica

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