UK-headquartered IOG said on Monday it had halted drilling on its Southwark project in the North Sea as the rig experienced an increasing challenge with seabed conditions that, if not remediated, would compromise its stability.
IOG said that technical personnel has explored potential options to manage these challenges, however, on Friday, January 7, the rig owner concluded that, as a prudent precautionary measure, temporary re-location of the rig Noble Hans Deul will be required to facilitate seabed remediation and enable the safe continuation of Southwark drilling operations.
The rig is expected to remain offshore with non-essential crew and equipment demobilised while the issue is rectified and the company said it would provide further updates once there is more certainty on the length of remediation work.
Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, commented: “This is a frustrating but absolutely necessary step to ensure we can drill and complete the Southwark production wells in a fully safe manner, which is always our foremost priority. Our team is working around the clock with our drilling contractors Noble Corporation and Petrofac to minimise the interruption and resume the Southwark drilling programme at the earliest opportunity.”