TAQA aiming to lift UK production

TAQA Bratani is looking to grow its UK North Sea oil output in the long term to 60-80,000 b/d, said managing director Leo Koot today at Offshore Europe.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN-- TAQA Bratani is looking to grow its UK North Sea oil output in the long term to 60-80,000 b/d, said managing director Leo Koot today at Offshore Europe.

Currently, the company is focusing on overhauling various mature field facilities in the northern North Sea to improve their performance. These include four platforms installed in the 1970s and 80s (Cormorant Alpha, Cormorant North, Eider, and Tern fields), which it acquired from the Shell/ExxonMobil partnership in mid-2008.

TAQA is working on extending the lives of these assets through equipment upgrades, infill drilling, and subsea tiebacks, both of undeveloped fields in the company's blocks and others in the area operated by third parties.

Koot said: "Our calculations show that the economic cut-off for these facilities is presently 2000, but with a bit of fair weather, we should be able to extend this to 2025."

Recently, TAQA acquired operatorship of four exploration blocks close to these complexes from Shell and ExxonMobil.

One near-term plan involves drilling an appraisal/development well next summer on this acreage, with a view to developing 5-25 MMbbl of oil from the Falcon discovery in one of Tern's fault blocks as a subsea tieback to the main Tern facilities. Should the development proceed, it will entail no more than four wells, Koot added.

TAQA is looking to spend £500 million ($828 million) over the next three years on the existing northern area fields, channelled towards improved integrity, drilling wells and ensuring the platforns remain serviceable. But the target of 60-80,000 b/d will have to be met through acquiring further large hubs, Koot said.

"We will take our time evaluating opportunities. My view is that the majors are doing an excellent job in maintaining their mature facilities in the UK North Sea, but there will come a point where it will no longer be attractive to them [to sustain this investment]."

09/08/2009

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