Operations winding down at two North Sea FPSOs

March 6, 2020
Premier Oil expects to lift the final cargo of crude from the Huntington field in the UK central North Sea next month.

Offshore staff

LONDONPremier Oil expects to lift the final cargo of crude from the Huntington field in the UK central North Sea next month.

Recently the company submitted a draft decommissioning program for the removal of the leased circular-shaped FPSO Voyageur Spirit to Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in February 2020.

Since becoming operator of the field in 2016, Premier’s reservoir management actions have helped deferred cessation of production, the company said.

Last year the company trialled an Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) PB3 PowerBuoy at Huntington: the system proved its ability to employ wave energy to power site-monitoring systems designed for protecting of subsea infrastructure following the FPSO’s eventual sail away.

Premier plans to continue working with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen and OPT to further develop the system for decommissioning of other offshore facilities.

Elsewhere in the UK central North Sea, Premier expects operator Total to start further infill drilling this year at the Elgin-Franklin complex: this includes the F5 well, due to be drilled in 2Q and brought onstream before year-end. The partners have also approved a four-well stimulation campaign to improve production performance from existing wells. 

Later this month drilling should start of a new production well (P3) at Premier’s Solan oilfield west of Shetland, designed to boost output from the central part of the reservoir and to extend field life. First oil should follow this summer.

Premier has an agreement with Baker Hughes to align payment with milestone dates, reducing its cash outlay prior to completion of the well. Excess gas will be used for power generation on the platform.

In the southern UK gas basin, the jackup Prospector-5 should start drilling two horizontal wells on Ravenspurn North later this month. These will access reserves in undrained areas of the field, helping to de-risk further infill opportunities. 

The company is also a partner in the Kyle field in the same region, which exports production via the Petrojarl Banff FPSO. The Kyle joint venture is co-operating with the Banff owners on decommissioning of the Kyle facilities, with sailaway of the FPSO anticipated this summer.

As for Premier’s nearby flagship Tolmount gas development, welding and riser installation is nearing completion for the platform jacket at the Rosetti Mariono yard in Ravenna. Italy. Fit-out of all major topsides equipment is substantially complete and the platform should depart the yard in late April.

Saipem is due to lay the 20-in. gas export pipeline this summer, while drilling of the four development wells will commence once the jacket has been installed. A fifth well could be added at the end of the program to improve overall recovery from the field.

In addition, Premier is progressing FEED studies for last October’s Tolmount East gas discovery 4 km (2.5 mi) east of the main Tolmount field, covering both platform and subsea concepts for a development through the Tolmount infrastructure.

Processed data from 3D seismic acquired last year across the Greater Tolmount Area will support the concept select decision, and the company aims to sanction the development during the second half of the year.

There is further potential in the Mongour discovery to the north, likely to be co-developed with Tolmount East.  Total resources at Tolmount East/Mongour are estimated at 160-300 bcf.

In 2022, Premier will look to drill the Tolmount Far East prospect, with more possibilities south and west of the Tolmount field.