Loanan Exploration Well

RPS provided a full range of HSE services in support of the Loanan Exploration well situated approximately 82 km north-west of the Shetland Islands. The Loanan well was a deep-water vertical exploration well drilled in 700 metres of water to a depth of over 14,000 feet TVDSS. Over a period of approximately 18 months we provided environmental impact assessment support, oil spill contingency planning, waste management planning and full environmental permitting support.

Timeline

  • 2015

    July - Start date

  • 2015

    October - EIA submission

  • 2016

    March - EIA approval

  • 2016

    February - OPEP submission

  • 2016

    May - OPEP approval

  • 2016

    May - Waste management plan preparation

  • 2016

    October - Project completion

1 /07
2015

July - Start date

2015

October - EIA submission

2016

March - EIA approval

2016

February - OPEP submission

2016

May - OPEP approval

2016

May - Waste management plan preparation

2016

October - Project completion

Key details

Project name
Loanan Exploration Well

Client
JX Nippon Exploration and Production U.K. Limited

Location
UK, West of Shetland

Services provided

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Oil pollution emergency planning
  • Well permitting
  • Safety Environmental Management System (SEMS) support
  • Corporate Major Accident Prevention Policy (CMAPP) development
  • Waste management planning
  • On-call duty manager support

Challenge

The key challenges of the project were associated with the environmental impact assessment. The west of Shetland area is less well known than other areas of the North Sea and therefore gathering baseline information from available existing data sources, including the well site survey, was of importance. The well was located within the Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt Marine Protected Area (MPA) and therefore robust impact assessment upon the key features of the MPA was a key concern of the EIA. A possible area of methane derived authigenic carbonate (MDAC) located 1,950 metres to the north-east of the proposed well location was also identified during the site survey.

Loanan exploration well - project image.png

Solution

The EIA baseline was researched using the latest available information from both the public domain and from previous well site surveys in the wider region. The EIA utilised the Feature Activity Sensitivity Tool (FEAST) to formally assess the impact on the MPA features, as well as detailed drill cuttings dispersion modelling to assess the spatial extent of the cuttings pile to determine potential impact on seabed features. Once the EIA was approved, the basis was used to inform other permitting documentation, including the CMAPP, OPEP, and EIA justification for chemical permitting. 

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