British oil and gas company Serica Energy has announced successful results of a flow test from its Columbus development well in the UK North Sea.

Prior to the test, equipment was installed at the well following drilling to a measured depth of 17,600ft in the Forties Sandstone formation.

The well was drilled using the Maersk Resilient jack-up drilling rig.

The flow test of the well resulted in stabilised flow rate of 38 mmscf/d of gas and 1,560bbls/d of condensate. This has been achieved through a 56/64ths inch choke.

Serica said the well achieved a stabilised flow rate towards the upper end of anticipated outcomes.

Serica Energy CEO Mitch Flegg said: “Columbus is part of Serica’s ongoing capital investment programme, which is aimed at boosting production in the second half of this year and beyond.

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“I look forward to updating the market when we bring this Columbus well and the recently announced Rhum R3 well into production.”

The subsea wellhead is planned to be tied into the export system of the Arran gas condensate field using a diving support vessel.

Serica plans to develop the Columbus well as a tieback to Shell’s Shearwater platform, 35km to the south-west.

Planned for start-up in the fourth quarter of this year, the Columbus well is expected to produce about 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d), of which 75% is likely to be gas.

Serica owns a 50% stake in the Columbus well, which was discovered in 2006. Other partners include Waldorf Production UK and Tailwind Energy.

In a press statement, Serica said: “Minimal subsea equipment has been installed to enable tie-in of the Columbus well to adjacent infrastructure, thus minimising environmental impact and CO₂ emissions.

“This is consistent with Serica’s stated objective of reducing the carbon intensity (i.e. CO₂ per barrel of oil equivalent) of its production operations.”

Once production reaches the Shearwater platform, the gas will be exported via the SEGAL line to St Fergus while the liquids through the Forties Pipeline System to Cruden Bay.