UK-based development and production firm Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) has awarded the Phase 1 well management contract to Petrofac for its Core Project gas development in the North Sea.

The latest move comes after IOG secured approval from the UK Oil & Gas Authority last month for a field development plan (FDP) encompassing the first phase of its core gas project.

Under the contract, Petrofac will manage the five-well programme on the Blythe, Elgood and Southwark fields as part of a Phase 1 drilling programme, with the work scope covering planning, execution, and the close-out phases.

Petrofac will serve as the well operator on behalf of IOG, a role which the company has performed for nine other oil companies in the UK North Sea.

IOG CEO Andrew Hockey said: “Petrofac have demonstrated that they have the right credentials and expertise to execute what will be a critical role in helping IOG to deliver a safe, productive and cost-effective five-well Phase 1 drilling campaign kicking off in the first half of next year.

“The IOG drilling and subsurface teams have already established a strong working relationship with the Petrofac team in recent months and this will deepen further as Phase 1 drilling preparations ramp up.”

Planning includes detailed well design, risk assessment, as well as the management of well-related regulatory requirements.

IOG noted that Petrofac will manage well engineering, procurement and logistics, ensure well construction and integrity, as well as provide offshore and onshore personnel to support drilling during the execution phase.

Petrofac Engineering and Production Services West managing director Nick Shorten said: “Through the deployment of our extensive asset and well management expertise, we will work closely with IOG to assure the integrity of the wells and deliver a safe and cost-efficient drilling programme to support the advancement of their development.”