UK-based Serica Energy said June 10 the flow potential of the third well at its Rhum gas field in the North Sea was at the "upper end" of its expected range following the completion of a flow test.
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Serica plans to begin producing from the well in the third quarter, it said in a statement.
Rhum is one of the UK's biggest gas producing fields, with production capacity at the two operational wells totaling a combined rate of almost 30,000 b/d of oil equivalent, of which over 95% is gas.
That equates to gas production capacity of close to 5 million cu m/d -- some 5% of the UK's average gas output.
Serica began drilling the third production well at Rhum (R3) late last year, though progress was slower than anticipated due to poor weather conditions and a technical problem with rig equipment.
"Operations on R3 have proved more challenging than expected," CEO Mitch Flegg said in a statement.
However, Flegg said: "Initial analysis of the data recovered indicates that the flow potential of the well is at the upper end of our range of expectations."
The volumes flowed during the test were equivalent to over 10,000 b/d of oil equivalent, it said.
"The third Rhum well will enable enhanced production rates from the field and will provide redundancy to support production from the other two Rhum wells," Flegg said.
Having a third well gives Serica the option of continuing high production from Rhum while carrying out any maintenance at the first two wells.
Rhum gas is carried via the Bruce platform to the St Fergus gas terminal.
During the flow test, a stabilized flow rate of 58.4 MMcf/d of gas and 135 b/d of condensate was achieved.
The rate was constrained by the surface well test equipment on board the WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig and Serica said it expected that the well will be able to produce at "higher rates" when in production.
"A diving support vessel has been contracted to install the subsea control equipment required so the well can start producing in Q3 2021," it said.
Serica added that the recompletion of R3 would increase the Rhum production capacity, utilizing the existing facilities located on the Bruce platform and would not lead to significant additional CO2 emissions.
"This is in line with Serica's stated objective of reducing the carbon intensity of its production operations," it added.