- Endeavour has suspended drilling on the the East Rochelle well in the UK central North Sea.

The company said a routine inspection following a severe storm which had lasted several days showed that cement around the top of the 36-inch conductor pipe, that anchors the well to the seabed floor, had been removed creating a non-uniform hole around the conductor. The hole extended approximately 4 to 7 feet in diameter and 25 feet in depth.

The company says it is conducting a thorough analysis to identify the cause of the cement loss and evaluate if there has been any potential fatigue damage to the conductor itself. The work to repair the cementing around the conductor pipe has been completed.

Preparations are now being made to move the Transocean Prospect rig to the West Rochelle area to start drilling of the second production well, allowing for the start- up of the Rochelle development.

The time to drill the West Rochelle production well is estimated at approximately 120 days.

Once the investigation and fatigue analysis are concluded, the company anticipates that drilling operations will re-commence at East Rochelle.

Endeavour is the operator of the Rochelle development and has a 44% working interest in the field located in Blocks 15/26b, 15/26c and 15/27.

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