Thistle Field Drilling Started By Santa Fe

E.L. Shannon Jr., president of Santa Fe International Corp., Orange, Calif., has announced that development drilling has started in Thistle Field in Block 211/18 in the North Sea.

Mr. Shannon said the first production well began drilling October 27, deepening a hole previously drilled to about 1,300 feet.

If there are no weather, drilling or startup problems, Mr.

Shannon said, oil should be flowing to permit loading the first tanker by the end of December.

Thistle Field, discovered in 1973, is expected to begin production at a rate of about 40,000 barrels a day.

Two drilling rigs, operated by a Santa Fe subsidiary, became operational in July, and since that time have drilled 13 wells to about 1,300 feet below the ocean floor and have set and cemented a 20- inch conductor in each. This, Mr.

Shannon said, will reduce drilling time on each development well by six to eight days.

The Thistle Field Unit, in which Santa Fe holds 16.29 percent interest, has chartered three tankers, each capable of carrying about 600,000 barrels of crude oil, and has installed bow-loading equipment on them to permit loading oil from a tanker-loading buoy in seas as high as 14 feet.

Mr. Shannon said it is anticipated that all Thistle crude oil will be loaded into tankers in the field until terminal facilities at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands are ready to receive Thistle crude through the Brent pipeline system.

Other stories from December 1977 issue


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