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Huldra drilling starts

September 8, 2000, 09:45 CEST

The first production well on Statoil's Huldra gas and condensate development in the North Sea has been spudded by Mærsk Gallant.

Embracing six producers, this drilling programme is expected to last until the first quarter of 2002.

Four of the wells are due to be ready when production begins on 1 October 2001, reports Huldra project manager Morten Ruth.

Drilling is on schedule so far, he says, and expects the reservoir to be reached by the end of the month. His project team is ready to tackle the challenges presented by high pressure and temperature in the field.

The jacket for the Huldra platform arrived in late July, and Mærsk Gallant was in place soon afterwards to drill through the steel structure.

This jackup has been specially modified for the job, with its legs extended to stand on the seabed in 125 metres of water.

Kværner Rosenberg in Stavanger is currently completing work on the platform topsides, which are scheduled to reach the field next spring.

Scheduled to be Statoil's first installation without permanent staffing, this wellhead unit will be remotely operated from the group's Veslefrikk field 16 kilometres away.

Veslefrikk B will also receive and process condensate from Huldra, with gas from the field being piped in a new line to the Heimdal platform.