This paper looks, rather uniquely, at an HPHT field in the UK Sector of the North Sea which was designed and developed during the mid 1990's and which, relatively recently, gave problems due to a gas leak from a well which was being worked on. The amount of gas emitted from the well caused full evacuation and the fact that the problem was solved with no injury gives full testimony to the high standard of the Operators Policies and Procedures. The well was "killed" from the top and a relief well was also drilled, designed to kill the well "from the bottom". Unfortunately, the cost of a) loss of production and b) remedial works ran into £billions and the Operator was fined £1,125 million by the Law Courts for contravening the Health & Safety at work act. Sometimes, during the early design phases of a project company departments make decisions which turn out to be less than optimal simply because certain information wasn't known. This can be unfortunate and very costly.

The field, Elgin, was named after a relatively nearby Scottish town. The field forms a part of the Central Graben and there were essentially two reservoir columns (the Jurassic overlying the Pentland). The paper tries to portray the excellence of planning, management and operations exhibited by the current world class / first rate Operator.

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