Endeavour International Corporation has suspended drilling operations on the East Rochelle oil well in the UK Central North Sea following a severe storm.
The storm, which lasted several days, removed the cement around the top of the 36-inch conductor pipe, which anchors the well to the seabed floor.
It created a non-uniform hole around the conductor, extending about four to five feet in diameter and 25 feet in depth.
‘As a result of this finding, drilling operations have been suspended on the East Rochelle well,’ the group said.
‘The company is conducting a thorough analysis to identify the cause of the cement loss and evaluate if there has been any potential fatigue damage to the conductor itself. The work to repair the cementing around the conductor pipe has been completed.’
The group is preparing to move the Transocean Prospect rig to the West Rochelle area to begin drilling the second production well in order to start-up the Rochelle development. It will take an estimated 120 days to drill.
‘Once the investigation and fatigue analysis are concluded, the company anticipates that drilling operations will re-commence at East Rochelle,’ Endeavour said.
Endeavour is the operator of the Rochelle development and has a 44% working interest in the field located in Blocks 15/26b, 15/26c and 15/27.