Shell has commenced drilling operations at its 100% owned Jackdaw field in the Central North Sea, utilizing the Valaris 122 jack-up rig. The drilling and completion activities are expected to take approximately 538 days.
As part of the project, four wells will be drilled through the newly installed Jackdaw platform. Shell anticipates that Jackdaw, located about 155 miles east of Aberdeen, will begin production around the middle of this decade. The field will consist of a wellhead platform and subsea infrastructure tied back to the existing Shearwater production hub.
At peak production rates, Jackdaw is projected to yield 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and could contribute to over 6% of the expected UK North Sea gas production.
Shell has committed to spending £500 million in the UK to deliver the project, which is estimated to commence production in 2025. Aker Solutions was awarded a contract for the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the Jackdaw platform over a year ago. The company plans to deliver the steel substructure with pre-drilling to Shell in 2023, followed by the topside in 2024. Fabrication will take place at Aker Solutions' yard in Verdal, Norway, with over 300 people expected to be employed during the project's peak.
The development of the Jackdaw gas field received approval from UK regulatory bodies, including the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning (OPRED), in June 2022. Despite opposition from climate activists, Shell has indicated a relatively low risk of disruption to the North Sea gas project.