All go for Gudrun drilling

September 28, 2011, 11:16 CEST

“We are drilling at full speed on the Gudrun field,” says Nils Petter Norheim and Per Brekke Foldøy from the drilling and well organisation in Stavanger. (Photo: Dag Sunnanå)

“The Gudrun field is characterised by high pressure and high temperature,” says Petter Kostøl, who is in charge of drilling and well operations in Stavanger.

All seven production wells planned for the Gudrun field will be pre-drilled through the jacket before the topside is installed in 2013. Work commenced on the first well on 6 September.


Drilling is performed close to the Gudrun jacket. The drilling period will
extend into 2014.

“Due to the field characteristics we have to pre-drill all wells before we start the actual production,” says Kostøl. “With this concept we have chosen a robust well strategy.”

Production in 2014

The background for this strategy is not least to avoid depletion problems, which means reservoir depressurisation that would complicate further drilling.

“This stepwise and repeated drilling operation leads to a more rational use of equipment and resources,” says drilling superintendent Nils Petter Norheim. “The result is improved learning and safety as well as higher efficiency.”

Drilling through the jacket will continue for two years until the summer of 2013. Then the topside will be installed on the Gudrun platform, and the pre-drilled wells will be completed and prepared for production.

The entire drilling programme will stretch into 2014, with plans calling for oil and gas production to start in the first quarter of 2014.


Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project.

In addition to the seven wells on Gudrun, an effort is currently being made to obtain approval for the drilling of a production well on the Brynhild discovery.

Model for Valemon

“While the Gudrun project has been able to build on drilling experience from the Kristin, Morvin and Kvitebjørn high-pressure fields, the experience from Gudrun may be useful during the engineering and development of the Valemon field,” indicates Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project.

Like Gudrun, the Valemon field also has high pressure and high temperature, and production from this field is also scheduled for start-up in 2014.

Gudrun facts
  • Oil and gas field in production licence 025 in the central Norwegian North Sea, about 55 kilometres north of the Sleipner installations 
  • Licensees in PL 025: Statoil (operator) 75%, GdF Suez 25%
  • Developed with a jacket-supported production platform
  • Process facilities for partial stabilisation of oil and gas
  • 40-berth living quarters
  • Transport of oil and gas to Sleipner A
  • Power supplied by cable from Sleipner A
  • Located 4,200-4,700 metres below sea level, the reservoir has pressures up to 820 bar
  • The platform will have 16 well slots. Plans call for seven production wells. The other slots can be used for further drilling to boost Gudrun output or for wells on other fields