Aker BP – Planning of Exploration Drilling

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/7/2021, Location: Europe

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has carried out an audit of Aker BP’s planning of the exploration drilling of well 7234/6-1 in the Barents Sea.

The audit was carried out on 22-23 April 2021.

Well 7234/6-1, with the prospect name “Stangnestind”, belongs to production licence 858, for which Aker BP is the operator. The well is located in the Barents Sea and will be drilled using the Deepsea Nordkapp mobile facility.

The planned drilling is to take place in an area without a significant number of nearby wells to draw experience from. Large distances and Arctic latitudes may entail particular area- and location-specific challenges in carrying out drilling operations.

During the audit, we paid particular attention to emergency preparedness when drilling in the Barents Sea and handling potentially karstified formations and high values of hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) in a potential well control situation, as well as how Aker BP ensures that its management of health risks meets the regulatory requirements.

The objective of the audit was to verify that Aker BP and relevant drilling and well contractors comply with regulatory requirements relating to the planning, risk assessment and implementation of the exploration drilling.

No non-conformities were identified during the audit, but we observed improvement points in the following areas:
- Assessment of decision-support documents and decision-making criteria for the chosen well control method
- Plan for conducting training and exercises
- Analyses of and decision support for operational changes
- Follow-up of internal requirements for qualification of new cement mixture

What happens now?
We have asked Aker BP to provide its assessment of the improvement points observed. This feedback is to reach us no later than 15 June 2021.

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