Fourth Buzzard platform online in North Sea

Third-quarter production from the Buzzard field complex in the UK North Sea averaged 114,000 boe/d, below the norm of 195,000-220,000 boe/d.

Offshore staff

UXBRIDGE, UK – Third-quarter production from the Buzzard field complex in the UK North Sea averaged 114,000 boe/d, below the norm of 195,000-220,000 boe/d.

Activities were affected by scheduled maintenance, commissioning of a fourth platform, and downtime on the third-party owned Forties and Frigg pipeline systems. Even so, the figure was still below expectations, according to operator Nexen Petroleum.

This was due to prolonged constraints on the Frigg gas export system, which necessitated reduced oil production at Buzzard for six weeks in order to minimize gas flaring. The export constraints also delayed commissioning of the new platform, with higher than expected downtime during this process.

Output has recovered to 208,000 boe/d, with the fourth platform now operational. This facility is designed to allow production from all wells at full rates, regardless of associated levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and enable future tieback of discoveries with high H2S content.

Fourth quarter volumes should rise significantly as Buzzard returns to normal operating levels. Additionally, Nexen expects the Telford and Blackbird tiebacks in the North Sea to come onstream by year-end, although this will initially require shutdowns of the host platforms.

Elsewhere in the UK North Sea, Nexen is continuing appraisal drilling at the Polecat prospect, to be followed by an exploration well at Edgware.

10/27/2011

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