Neptune details North Sea drilling line-up, tieback opportunities

March 10, 2023
Neptune Energy plans to drill nine exploration and appraisal wells this year, the company said in its latest results review.

Offshore staff

LONDON  Neptune Energy plans to drill nine exploration and appraisal wells this year, the company said in its latest results review.

The line-up offshore Norway includes appraisal this summer of last year’s Ofelia discovery followed by an exploration well on the Cerisa prospect, which could add further resources close to the Gjøa complex in the North Sea.

Cerisa, northeast of Gjøa, is within a similar play to Hamlet and Ofelia. Successful well results could support fast-track developments of these discoveries.

An upcoming well on the Eirik prospect will target the Brae Formation sands onlapping the Gudrun structure. The Mulder prospect, close to the Fram Field in the North Sea, is due to be drilled in June (both wells are non-operated).

Neptune’s program for the Dutch North Sea includes an appraisal well this spring on the recently awarded L-7 Rhone gas field, close to the company’s L10 hub (a potential near-term development opportunity). The Maple exploration well, set to be drilled this month, will examine a large shallow-water Triassic target.

In the Norwegian Sea, the non-operated Hyme and Bauge tiebacks to the redeveloped Njord Field complex should start up in the next few weeks, and development drilling at Njord will continue through 2024.

Neptune’s Fenja 36-km subsea tieback to Njord should start production in April, building to plateau rates of about 10,000 boe/d during the fourth quarter.

At the company’s Seagull development in the UK central North Sea, the first well is now ready for production via bp’s ETAP complex, and operations continue on the second well. The two remaining development wells should be drilled later this year and brought onstream in 2024.

All critical topside modules have been installed and commissioning is underway. The Seagull Field is scheduled to start up in May at an initial rate of 12,000 boe/d from the first two development wells, rising to 17,000 boe/d in 2024.

In the Netherlands, the company and its partners are assessing options for the F17 development, such as a tieback to Neptune’s F3 Hub. A fast-track development is under review for the non-operated Clover discovery, possibly involving reuse of an existing mini-platform tied back to a host platform nearby.

Host locations could include the Neptune-operated L15b-A and L10-A platforms.

Neptune warned, however, that introduction of windfall taxes/levies will likely have a negative impact on its future investment intentions, with higher returns now required for projects to be sanctioned in the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.