With the casing augmented, the reservoir team was very confident that this could be one of the North Sea’s best producers.
A fairly cautious approach was taken to starting the test. David Loughman, managing director of Norske Shell at the time, had come aboard to witness a process which carried great prestige.
All other production was shut down to measure flow from A4. The choke was slowly opened, and the well began to kick. Tension rose as the ramp-up period ended with the choke fully open.
The Xmas-tree assembly of valves on the wellhead and the attached production lines shook and swayed under the massive throughflow from the well.
After a stabilisation period, output was measured as 76 000 barrels per day. This made it the world’s best offshore producer – a big milestone in the history of the field.