AGR operates offshore well in the Bay of Biscay - AGR
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AGR operates offshore well in the Bay of Biscay

AGR was awarded to deliver Well Management Services on the Aquitaine Maritime Permit offshore France in the Bay of Biscay. This was the first time ever that the client had elected to use an independent contractor.
COMPLICATING FACTORS
 
  • A short drilling window provided by the French military authorities
  • Moving a rig from the North Sea to the Bay of Biscay and back as part of a multiclient programme
  • An exploration well with a high degree of geological uncertainty and limited offset information
  • A limited local oilfield infrastructure and services, with no offshore drilling in the last ten years
  • Rig availability in a tight rig market.

RESULT

AGR was able to organise the drilling sequence so that the client could drill their well first, thereby working within the available military window. AGR managed to incorporate this into the drilling campaign without adversely impacting the remaining operator participants.

Geological assessments were made together with the client’s in-house team. This resulted in some well design changes in order to provide the required design contingency to handle the exploration uncertainties and also to reduce the amount of equipment that would need to be mobilised.

The rig tow from the North Sea was optimised by loading drilling equipment on the rig while under tow near Aberdeen, and by using two anchor handler vessels for combined tow, anchor handling and logistics duties.

In conjunction with the client, AGR was able to set up and operate a logistics base in Verdon-sur-Mer in order to serve the rig while it was operating in the Bay of Biscay. This proved extremely challenging as the port had never been set up to act as an offshore rig support base, and local working practices/procedures provided no flexibility.

The well had a strong exploration element. Together with the client, AGR engineers worked on reservoir pressure scenarios, performed a kick potential analysis and reviewed the available offset information. The exploration uncertainties were identified, and design options were analysed using AGR's P1.

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