Centrica has been given the go-ahead by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority to drill a shallow pilot hole to establish there is no shallow gas in block 8/10 in the North Sea prior to further activity in the prospect.
The well is to be drilled by the Island Constructor mobile drilling facility.
The Island Constructor was originally a vessel designed for light well intervention but has been modified to enable it to drill shallow boreholes using coiled tubing.
It is the first time this technique will be used to drill a well from a facility of this type, said the PSA.
Centrica is the operator of production licence 405 in block 8/10 in the North Sea, close to the Ula field and around 263km southwest of Stavanger. The borehole will go down to 423m below the seabed. Drilling is estimated to last for 12 days.
PSA head of section Monica Ovesen, said: “It is a common practice to investigate the risk of shallow gas occurrences using a pilot hole before starting exploration drilling and developing a location.”