Drilling operations on the offshore Jubilee Field remains on track for first oil production in the last quarter of this year.
The facility has recently been designated by independent consultants as being the most cost efficient or ‘best-in-class’ compared to other operators in West Africa.
Mr. Alan Dowokpor, Head of Drilling Operations of Tullow Ghana Limited said, “The drilling efficiency of Tullow Ghana Limited in the Jubilee Field is a tribute to the diligence and professionalism of the drilling team and the several key drilling service providers.
“Additionally, it attests to the fact that Tullow Ghana Limited, the Operator of the Jubilee Field, has the capacity and competence to manage and produce the field,” he said.
A statement issued by Mr Gayheart Mensah, Communications Manager of Tullow Ghana Limited in Accra on Wednesday, confirmed that the floating drilling rig, Eirik Raude, has now drilled 16 out of the 17 wells in the Jubilee Phase 1 project, which will facilitate the delivery of first oil from in Quarter 4 this year.
The rig, which has been operating 60 kilometres offshore in Ghanaian waters since November 2008, will now shift focus from drilling to completion activities of these wells to allow oil to flow back to the Floating Production Storage and Offload (FPSO) facilities. About 48 kilometres of rock have been drilled since Nov 2008, portions of which were as hard as steel.
Throwing some light on the drilling process, Mr. Dowokpor said: “Wells take up to 30 days to drill and cost an incredible $40 million each.”
“A drill pipe must first be lowered from the rig to the seabed through a water depth of over one kilometre before drilling can begin. Soft sediments encountered on the seabed then become progressively harder as various drill bits penetrate deep below the seabed.”
Mr. Dowokpor said the final well depths may be up to six kilometres deep, at which depths the rock being drilled is as hot as an oven and as hard as steel.
He remained confident that “despite the numerous technical challenges encountered in drilling the wells in the Jubilee Field, it has been a very successful and exciting drilling expedition”.
Mr. Dowokpor attributed the success to the quality of the personnel working on the project, and the fact that Tullow Ghana Limited has deployed state-of-the-art technology in its operations on the Jubilee Field.
“The Eirik Raude rig is one of the most sought after rigs in the oil industry due to its sophistication, reliability and efficiency. Tullow Ghana Limited was able to obtain the services of the Eirik Raude, out pacing other bigger industry players who also needed it services,” he said.
The rig is home to 140 offshore personnel currently operating the massive 50,000 tonnes vessel in the Jubilee Field off the coast of Ghana.
Tullow operates 49.95 per cent of the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy, which has 18 per cent stake and Anadarko Petroleum 18 per cent.
The rest are Sabre Oil and Gas, 4.05 per cent and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation 10 per cent carried interest.