Topsides assembly starts on North Sea GSA floater

Ithaca Energy has updated progress at its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development in the UK central North Sea.

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada – Ithaca Energy has updated progress at its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development in the UK central North Sea.

Petrofac has completed the drydock-related marine system refurbishment and hull life extension works on the floating production platformFPF-1 at the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

Construction and installation of the main topsides processing plant can now begin. Currently the focus is on installation of preassembled units and racks.

Three more sponsons have been added to the platform’s pontoons for enhanced buoyancy – this involved construction and installation of around 2,000 metric tons (2,205 tons) of steelwork blocks.

Four buoyancy “blisters” are being fabricated and will be added to the vessel’s columns during the next phase, in parallel with the topsides construction works. The modifications are to ensure thatFPF-1 can accommodate the new processing equipment on the main deck and achieve predicted operational uptime.

Offshore, Technip has completed installation of the 60-km (37-mi) 10-in. gas export pipeline fromFPF-1 to the BP-operated Central Area Transmission System (CATS) trunkline.

The pipeline is now configured to receive gas exports following start-up of production from the Stella field. No modifications are needed to the Teesside Gas and Liquids Processing terminal in northeast England, which will receive and process the rich gas.

Installations are under way of the flexible infield flowlines and static umbilicals that will connect the Stella field drill center manifolds to theFPF-1 riser bases, with divers coming in afterward to tie in these components.

The GSA partners are still finalizing the oil export route for the development after receiving further information from the flow test results of the A1 well.

TheENSCO 100 has since completed that well and started drilling A2. This operation should take 80-90 days, and will be followed by a clean-up flow test.

Elsewhere in the central UK sector, diagnostic testing on the Ithaca-operatedAthena field P4 well confirms that its electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) failed. However, the impact on production is mitigated by optimization of the other wells and the FPSO’s processing facilities.

Options remain under review for reinstating full production from A4, either through a workover or side track.

Production has restarted at the Shell-operated Cook field, which had to be shut in during August for inspection of the infield flowline connecting the field to the hostAnasuria FPSO.

In the northern UK North Sea, the shutdown of the TAQA-operatedNorth Cormorant platform, which receives production from the Causeway Area fields, is nearly finished. Further modifications will be needed to the platform to allow it to supply power to an ESP in one of the Causeway wells.


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