Centrica wins ONS Innovation Award

Centrica has won the prestigious award for cutting-edge technology used on the Butch/Oda pilot hole last year

Centrica and its project partner for the Butch/Oda pilot hole, Island Offshore, have won the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) Innovation Award in recognition of a new approach to offshore drilling.

Centrica adopted the riser-less coiled tubing drilling method, in what is believed to be a world-first for the oil and gas industry, on the Butch field in the North Sea as it is both safer and cheaper than traditional drilling with a rig.

Centrica finished drilling the pilot hole – which tested for shallow gas above the Butch field – in 2015. The operator chose to use a well intervention vessel instead of a rig, and coiled tubing drilling (CTD) was also used. This approach was inspired by a drilling campaign which was part of a road construction project in Norway, in 2014.

Drilling a pilot holes before starting full production of a gas field is important because they remove the risk of pockets of shallow gas being found above the gas field. Employing the CTD method was safer and brought the additional benefit of considerable cost savings.

By using this new technology we have completed drilling at about half the cost compared to traditional drilling with a rig. It has been an exciting and challenging project, but when we both reduce risk and cross the finish line well below budget, there is every reason to be pleased.
- Espen Kopperud, Project Manager - Norway

The Innovation Award reflects ONS' long-standing commitment to presenting and promoting innovative ideas to the international oil, gas and energy industry and Centrica is delighted to have been recognised for pioneering this cutting-edge technology alongside Island Offshore.

Watch this video to find out more about the coiled tubing drilling technology pioneered at the Butch/Oda field.