Drilling suspended at Isobel Deep well offshore the Falklands

Drilling suspended at Isobel Deep well offshore the Falklands

San Francisco: Oil drilling at British firm Premier Oil’s offshore Falklands well Isobel Deep was suspended on Friday to fix a problem on the blowout preventer (BOP).

Drilling had reached a depth of 1,273.9m when the problem was detected and operations halted so the BOP could be brought to the surface to be examined and repaired. It is thought it will take between 10 and 14 days to resolve.

While that is being done the plan is for the rig to be moved to other sites to drill the top-hole sections there. Once the BOP is fixed it will resume at the Isobel Deep location.

Premier Oil’s partner Falkland Oil & Gas, which has a 40% interest in the exploratory drilling programme, revealed the problem.

A BOP is a large specialized valve or similar device designed to prevent catastrophic blowouts caused by extremely erratic pressures. Failure of a BOP was the prime cause of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Premier Oil, Falkland Oil & Gas and other British and US companies have incurred the wrath of Argentina’s government for working offshore fields in the South Atlantic in what the Argentinians consider disputed waters.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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