Shell UK Ltd. with co-venturers Esso Exploration and Production UK Ltd., Paladin Resources plc, and Centrica Energy, have first production from the Goldeneye gas condensate field in the Outer Moray Firth, 100 km north of St Fergus on the northeast coast of Scotland.
"Goldeneye will provide around 3% of the gas for the UK, so will make a significant contribution to securing energy for the UK in the future, as the country becomes a net importer of gas," Kieron McFadyen, technical director for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, said. "Plateau gas production is estimated to be some 300 MMscf/d of gas and associated liquids."
UK Energy Minister Mike O'Brien said: "Goldeneye will help secure several thousand jobs in Scotland where gas lands at St Fergus and Shell's natural gas liquids plant in Mossmorran. This venture highlights the continued development of the UK Continental Shelf – it is excellent news for the UK and confirms the opportunities which remain in the basin."
Shell initially regarded the Goldeneye field as economically marginal, mainly due to the distance from existing infrastructure. However, Shell engineers came up with an innovative solution of transferring gas and condensate at reservoir pressure from an unmanned platform to the onshore processing Shell/Esso facility at St Fergus. The pipeline is 105 km in length, making it the longest tied back full well stream pipeline in the UK Continental Shelf.
The Goldeneye field was first discovered in 1996.