Serica confident of North Sea Bruce life extension

April 15, 2021
Serica Energy hopes to defer cessation of production at the Bruce area in the UK North Sea until 2030.

Offshore staff

LONDONSerica Energy hopes to defer cessation of production (CoP) at the Bruce area in the UK North Sea until 2030.

This follows a new Competent Person’s Report (CPR) which upgraded net 2P reserves from the Bruce and satellite Keith and Rhum fields.

Over the past two years, Serica – which acquired operatorship of the fields from BP – claims to have pushed back the CoP date by four years thanks to various efficiency and facility life extension measures.

One achievement was the creation last year of a digital twin of the Bruce production complex to allow more onshore support (maintenance, visual inspection, modification design and pipework fabrication), avoiding personnel visits to the platform.

As a result, an inspection scope previously forecast to cost £150,000 ($207,000) was performed with reductions of 75% in offshore days and 40% in the total cost.

Early in 2020 oil production from Keith, which produces from one subsea well tied back to the Bruce facilities, was interrupted initially due to a caisson issue on the platform and then by interruptions to topsides reinstatement work caused by COVID-19 restrictions on personnel numbers offshore.

However, an intervention to restore flow from Keith late last month was successful, and further enhancement work will follow in the current quarter.

Another intervention campaign is under way to workover Rhum’s R3 well, allowing it to be restored to production. During completion operations in 2005 the well was left with an ice-like hydrate plug that prevented it flowing, and rectification attempts at the time led to wireline debris being left in the well.

Serica has now remedied both issues, recovering the wireline ‘fish’ and dissociating the hydrate plug with heated fluid, and the well is being prepared for production which should resume in 3Q.

The company has also started planning for the HP/HT North Eigg exploration well next summer, which is said to share similarities with the nearby Rhum. If the well results in a commercial discovery, the company would pursue a fast-track development to Bruce, potentially via subsea facilities, while also implementing options to reduce emissions.

In the UK central North Sea, the jackup Maersk Resilient is drilling the 23/16f-C1 development well tying back production from Serica’s Columbus field to the Shearwater platform. Drilling should last around 70 days, after which an open-hole sand-screen completion will be installed followed by a short clean-up flow and well test to provide production data and prepare for flowing into the Arran-Shearwater export pipeline system.