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Additional developments required on Columbus development well

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Oilfield Technology,

Serica Energy has said that additional operations on the Columbus development well in the UK North Sea are expected to take around 3-4 weeks at a net cost to Serica of around £3 million.

The Columbus development well was spudded in mid-March and drilled, as planned, to a total measured depth of 17 600 ft. A 5900 ft horizontal section was drilled through the reservoir formations of the upper Forties and encountered a sequence of sands and shales, in line with pre-drill expectations. The well requires sand screens to be installed to prevent fine particles being produced; difficulties were encountered while running the screens and it was ultimately not possible to install them. As a result, the reservoir section of the well will be side-tracked and re-drilled, using data collected during initial drilling to optimise its trajectory and avoid the difficulties encountered running the screens in the original well.

These operations are not expected to affect the timing of production start-up, which is still expected during 4Q21.

Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: “Whilst frustrating, the additional operations on Columbus are not expected to affect the timing of first production and the economic returns of the project remain very attractive for the company.”

Separately, the R3 well has now been cleared of all equipment installed when it was originally completed in 2005. Reservoir access has been regained thus allowing new completion equipment to be run in preparation for production. The new completion is currently being installed prior to performing a flow test on the well, which is expected to be carried out in June. A diving support vessel (DSV) has been contracted to install the subsea control equipment required so the well can start producing in 3Q21.

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