Chevron has finalized plans to start drilling a relief well to control the Funiwa Deep 1A well. The fire is still burning at the well, but continues to diminish. Based on the condition of the well, the safest way to control the well is to drill a relief well to kill the well at reservoir depth.
A rig that is being provided by Transocean, on loan from ExxonMobil, in cooperation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has arrived at the drill site, and preparations for drilling have begun. Improved conditions, including the reduced flow of natural gas and the decreasing size and intensity of the fire have led CNL to determine that deploying a single rig to drill the relief well provides the quickest and safest way to put out the fire and permanently seal the well.
“Chevron continues to monitor the well for impacts to the environment. The company has hired local community residents as beach walkers to monitor the shoreline. To date there have been no reports of crude oil on the beaches”. reads the statement at Chevron’s website.
On January 16, Chevron reported the fire outbreak aboard the K.S. Endeavor, a drilling rig offshore Nigeria operated by FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited. The rig was drilling a natural gas exploration well, located in the Funiwa Field approximately six miles (10 kilometers) offshore and in approximately 40 feet (12 meters) of water . Seven days later, on January 23 , the company said that “no rig structure can be seen above the water”.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, February 3, 2012