ABERDEEN, UK – CATS Management Ltd. (CML), a subsidiary of Antin Infrastructure Partners portfolio company, has secured agreements for 65% of the Esmond Transportation System (ETS) in the UK southern North Sea.
ETS comprises a 165-km (102-mi) pipeline that transports gas from offshore fields in the region to the Bacton gas terminal on the North Norfolk coast. Perenco is the current operator.
CML has now entered into three sale and purchase agreements with Premier Oil (30%), Centrica (25%), and Perenco UK (10%).
On completion of these deals, CML will become the operator but will maintain the existing arrangement under which Perenco manages the pipeline on its behalf in its capacity as operator of the Trent platform.
As with the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) farther north, which CML acquired from BG Group and BP, ETS is a mature North Sea pipeline system.
CML plans to apply a similar management role at ETS will be similar, working with offshore operators to support daily operations of existing fields and encouraging them to invest in new developments to maximize recovery.
Earlier this year the company signed heads of terms with Premier Oil and Dana Petroleum on an infrastructure partnership to support development of theTolmount gas field in the southern sector.
CML and Dana plan to jointly construct and own the Humber Gathering System (HGS), comprising a platform and export pipeline, with CML assuming operatorship.
In addition, the two companies will perform associated modifications at the Dimlington terminal on the East Yorkshire coast to allow gas from HGS to be received and processed.
The platform will be a normally unmanned installation with a 50-cm (20-in.), 48-km (30-mi) gas export pipeline connected to the shore.
The Tolmount Main gas field, 50 km (40 mi) offshore in block 42/28d, is one of the UK’s largest undeveloped gas discoveries with estimated recoverable reserves of over 540 bcf, with upside potential.
Premier operates the Greater Tolmount Area under a 50-50 partnership with Dana. The two companies see the initial development serving as a hub for development of other fields in area, or in nearby acreage.
Front-end engineering design is under way for both the HGS and Tolmount Main. Following completion of this and tendering of the major project scopes, the partners anticipate a formal approval and project sanction during the first half of 2018.
First gas should reach the market before the end of 2020.