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Consent to conduct exploration drilling with West Alpha – well 6506/9-2 S

Consent: Centrica Energi has received consent to conduct exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea with the mobile facility West Alpha.

Well 6506/9-2 S is located 252 km west of Brønnøysund (see map) and is part of production licence 433.

Location of the well


The well has the following geographical coordinates:

N 65° 15' 50.97",  E 6° 44' 04.26". The water depth at the site is 281 metres.

Start-up of drilling is planned in February 2010. The expected duration of the activity is 78 days.

West Alpha is an Ultra Yatzy drilling facility, built in 1986. The facility has undergone several modifications and is registered in Panama with Det Norske Veritas as classification society.

West Alpha is operated by Seadrill with an operations office in Stavanger. The facility received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) in December 2001.

In connection with the PSA's processing of this application, an audit of Centrica's planning and execution of the drilling operation was carried out on 19 January.

Link to article about the audit of Centrica

Based on the responsibility that rests with the licence group, we have also obtained this group's overall assessment of risk factors related to this activity, and to the operator's resources for managing the activity.

We have also participated as observers in two emergency preparedness exercises with the operator. The report subsequent to the audit revealed nonconformities in relation to requirements for managing the activities and emergency preparedness aspects, and also pointed out a potential for improvement as regards Centrica's organisation.

Centrica has evaluated the above-mentioned factors, and has identified a number of compensating measures. A precondition for the consent is therefore that these measures, summarised in a binding plan with dates, are implemented as described.

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