Wax issues delay re-start at Erskine in the North Sea

Production from the Chevron-operated Erskine field in the UK central North Sea remains offline, according to partner Serica Energy.

Offshore staff

LONDON – Production from the Chevron-operated Erskine field in the UK central North Sea remains offline, according to partner Serica Energy.

Output was suspended on July 31 to coincide with a period of maintenance of the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) through which Erskine’s condensate is transported.

At the same time, Shell/Chryasor’s team conducted a planned treatment to soak and remove wax build-up in the Lomond to Everest condensate export pipeline.

Production was due to re-start last week, but will now be deferred for a fortnight for monitoring and control of methanol and xylene components used for the wax treatment prior to the resumption of exports to the FPS.

On completion of this process, Erskine’s wells will be flowed at maximum rates to clear the treated wax from the line. If results are satisfactory, a pigging program will follow to maintain operations through the pipeline, although further chemical treatment may be needed before pigging can start.

Shell/Chryasor has taken the opportunity to improve performance of other equipment, including finalizing the installation of a back-up export pump on the Erskine production module on the Shell-operated Lomond platform and overhauling the power generation system.

Serica’s executive chairman Tony Craven Walker said: “Although the pipeline de-waxing procedures have taken longer than planned by the Lomond operator and Erskine production will resume later than we were expecting, the underlying field capability remains strong and we expect production to pick up as soon as the current restrictions are resolved.”

08/29/2017

More in Pipelines