LONDON, June 28 -- The BG International PLC-operated Blake field in the UK North Sea has been brought to first oil and production resumed from the neighboring Ross development a month ahead of schedule, field partner Talisman Energy UK Ltd. reported Thursday.
Blake, 64 miles from Aberdeen on Blocks 13/24 and 13/29b in the northern North Sea, was brought on stream 2 months ahead of target and 10% below budget. It cost £145 million to develop.
Blake is producing 40,000 b/d, which will increase to 60,000 b/d later this year. Oil is produced through the Bleo Holm floating production, storage, and offloading vessel at Talisman Energy UK's nearby Ross field.
The initial combined flowrate from the two fields, located on Blocks 13/24 and 13/29b in the Outer Moray Firth, will be 65,000 b/d, ramping up to peak production of around 85,000 b/d. BG drilled the discovery well in March 1997 and four successful appraisal wells in 1998 and 1999.
Frank Chapman, BG's CEO, said, "Innovative strategies and exceptionally close partner collaboration have enabled us to realize the Blake project in a very short timeframe, so accessing today's strong oil prices."
Production from Ross, operated by Talisman, was suspended in March while topsides modifications were made to the fields' floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, Bleo Holm, at Aker's South Shields facility.
Blake will add between 50-75 million bbl in reserves and extend the producing life of Ross field. The company said it plans to carry out exploration drilling on the so-called Blake Flank area later this year, in the hopes of striking "incremental development opportunities and a further reserves increase."
Blake coming onstream "significantly increases our total North Sea production,� said Jim Buckee, Talisman's CEO.
Partners in Blake are Talisman (53.6%), BG Group PLC (44%) and Paladin Expro Ltd (2.4%). Ross field partners are Talisman (51.99%, Operator), Intrepid Energy North Sea Ltd. (13%), Kerr-McGee Resources UK Ltd. (14.49%), LASMO ULX Ltd. (16.33%) and Nippon Oil Expro UK Ltd. (4.19%).