Equinor drilling new wells on the Martin Linge fieldMartin Linge. Source: Equinor

Equinor drilling new wells on the Martin Linge field

Review concludes that several of the wells do not have the necessary barriers.

In four gas wells that were drilled at Martin Linge before 2018, well barrier deficiencies that are considered to make them inappropriate for safe production have been established.

Petoro has carried out an independent assessment of well barriers that support the operator’s view.

“The wells are considered safe as they are now, but we will keep them plugged and under continuous monitoring until we have reduced the pressure in the formation by producing from other wells. Safety is always priority number one,” says Geir Tungesvik, acting EVP for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.

The Martin Linge plant is designed for a mixture of oil and gas, and needs gas wells that produce at a certain rate for start-up and production.

The Martin Linge field is a dual-reservoir accumulation with gas and condensate in a structurally complex setting of HPHT Brent sandstones and oil in Eocene Frigg formation sandstones. The development concept is a fully integrated fixed production platform and a floating, storage and offloading unit (FSO) for oil storage. A mobile jack-up rig is utilised for the drilling of production wells.

“Our number one priority is to ensure safe start-up of the field. We will therefore plan to drill up to three new gas wells in addition to the two remaining wells from the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the field to produce as originally planned,” says Tungesvik.

The costs of drilling up to three new wells total about NOK 2 billion.

Equinor will give an update on all projects under development to Norwegian authorities, including the consequences of Covid-19. The plan will be published in connection with the presentation of the state budget in October.

The Maersk Intrepid drilling rig recently started the drilling operations at Martin Linge.

Equinor is the majority shareholder and operator of Martin Linge (70%). Petoro (30%) is the only partner.