North Sea FPSO withdrawn following storm impact

Jan. 19, 2012
Severe weather in the UK North Sea caused the Banff FPSO to lose its anchors, causing damage to the risers, according to Premier Oil.

Severe weather in the UK North Sea caused theBanff FPSO to lose its anchors, causing damage to the risers, according to Premier Oil.

As a result the floater – which also handles production from the Kyle field – had to be removed from the location while the scope of the repairs was assessed.

Premier says output from the Kyle field is unlikely to resume this year, and a claim for business interruption insurance is being processed.

Last month Premier’s shareholders approved the acquisition of fellow UK independent EnCore Oil. As a result, Premier has increased its stake in the Catcher field in the central UK North Sea from 35% to 50% and has been named operator of the project.

Engineering and screening studies are continuing, with concept selection for Catcher expected by end-March.

Two exploration wells – Carnaby and Coaster – will be drilled in the Catcher area over the next six months to test the Eocene play. The Catcher area partners have an option on a rig to drill a third well in the area, and Premier says a further exploration well is planned to test the Eocene play at Cyclone, subject to partner approval and rig availability.

In the same sector, development drilling is progressing at the E.ON Ruhrgas-operated Huntington field, with the first two producer wells drilled and tested and exceeding expectations. A third producer is presently drilling.

Teekay is upgrading theVoyageur FPSO that will serve on the field, and Premier expects sail-away of the vessel in July, followed by first oil in September.

As for the Endeavour-operate Rochelle development, subsea facilities fabrication and offshore construction on the Nexen-operated host Scott platform are both on schedule. Development drilling and subsea installation should start in March and June, respectively, with first gas anticipated this fall.

Next month, Premier expects to spud the Stingray well, testing a Mesozoic play on the northern margin of the central North Sea.

And in central block 23/22b Premier has agreed to transfer 37.3% of its interest to a third party along with a carry for a well on the Lacewing HP/HT prospect, which could spud toward year-end.

In the UK northern North Sea, Premier and its partners are evaluating development options for the Fyne field, with an FPSO currently in pole position. Project sanction is expected soon after the current East Fyne appraisal well has been completed, with first oil from the Fyne area targeted for mid-2014.

West of Shetland, Premier was appointed operator of the Solan development. The partners aim for project sanction in April.

Offshore Norway, a formal concept selection decision for the Bream field is imminent with PDO approval expected around mid-year.

Last month, the Norwegian authorities approved Premier’s acquisition of three offshore licenses from Nexen, and formal completion is now set for Jan. 31. Premier has assumed operatorship of the concessions, and seismic reprocessing is under way for the adjoining Freki license (Premier 60%).