All geared up for Merbah, Jagus drilling

James Kon

Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) and Shell Exploration and Production Brunei Sdn Bhd (SEPB) are making the final preparations to drill Merbah Deep-1 and Jagus Subthrust-1, both located in Brunei’s deepwater area.

To mark the start of the drilling, Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein attended a recent blessing and Doa ceremony at the site of Merbah Deep, on board the Maersk Viking drillship.

Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Interim Managing Director of Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Managing Director of BSP Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, and General Manager of SEPB Ivo Verstralen.

According to the Ministry of Energy, Maersk has secured a contract selected to fulfil this year’s drilling commitment for BSP and SEPB through their seventh generation, state-of-the art drillship, Maersk Viking. The rig arrived in Brunei waters on March 13, and began drilling the Merbah Deep-1 well on March 26. The drilling for Jagus Subthrust-1 is expected to take place in early May 2021.

The Maersk Viking is equipped with dual-derrick technology capable of reaching 12,000m drilling depth and operated at a maximum water depth of 3,657m.

The drilling exploration plays an important role in supporting the Ministry of Energy’s second strategic objective of effective and sustainable management of the country’s hydrocarbon resources. Both exploration wells will form a key test in proving new hydrocarbon volumes and opening up the deepwater further, in alignment with the Ministry of Energy’s strong emphasis to operators to develop existing deepwater fields in the near to mid-term.

Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein in a group photo. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF ENERGY