ABERDEEN --Gaz de France Suez could issue a development plan for the Orca gas field in the UK North Sea later this year, according to partner Faroe Petroleum.
Orca is one of the larger undeveloped accumulations in the southern gas basin, and lies on the median line between Dutch and British waters. Late last year, the partners agreed on a unitization involving a 55/45 split between the UK and The Netherlands, and on a production scheme based on a two-wellhead platform exporting gas through a pipeline to the DI5 platform in the Dutch sector.
Minke Main, another cross-border project in which Faroe is a partner, already exports its gas to D15 for onward delivery to The Netherlands via the NGT trunkline. The field came on stream in June 2007 at initial rates of 60 MMcf/d from the 44/24a-6Y well. However, due probably to mechanical problems, the well is now only producing a nominal quantity of gas.
GDF Suez and its German partners E.ON Ruhrgas and RWE Dea have been working on a remedial plan. This would lead either to a workover or the drilling of a new producer -- the two-slot template was designed for such an outcome. However, this action may have to be delayed until 2010, due to persistently high rig rates.
In UK southern blocks 49/1a and 49/2a, Faroe is a partner in RWE's Topaz development, a single-well subsea tieback to Tullow's Schooner platform and the CMS trunkline system via a 15-km (9.3-mi), 8-in. (20.3-cm) pipeline. Modifications to the platform should start in summer: Faroe estimates Topaz's gross reserves at 19.8 bcf.