Pigging under way for North Sea Thames pipeline re-commissioning
Independent Oil and Gas has completed its acquisition of the Thames gas pipeline system in the UK southern North Sea from Perenco, Tullow Oil, and Spirit Energy Resources.
The company’s focus is now on re-commissioning of the pipeline for the development of the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs, allowing gas exports to the Bacton terminal on the Norfolk coast: IOG is in negotiations to also acquire the onshore reception facilities.
Intelligent pigging has started with onshore mechanical preparation work at Bacton, while anoffshore site survey along the Thames pipeline and a survey of all the proposed platform locations and intra-field connecting pipelines are nearing completion.
The aim is to confirm the feasibility of safe re-use of the pipeline, which is estimated to have initial capacity of 300 MMcf/d.
Positive initial site survey results suggest a proposed tie-in point to the pipeline can be modified, which should reduce the time and cost for the pigging operations and the subsequent tieback to the planned Southwark platform.
Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, said: “Subject to the intelligent pigging program results this pipeline should allow for the tariff-free export of our 100% owned gas reserves that were otherwise stranded.
“Re-commissioning of the pipeline may also facilitate the export of new resources that IOG may access and develop in future as well as other gas resources owned by third parties, who would pay a tariff.”
In addition, the company has appointed Mark Hughes as COO. He previously held senior management roles at Shell, Lasmo and Gaz de France and most recently at RWE Dea UK where he was responsible for the Breagh and Clipper South gas developments before becoming commercial director forINEOS Breagh.