Serica set to strengthen control of North Sea Bruce area
Serica Energy has signed an agreement to acquire interests held by Total in the Bruce and Keith fields and associated infrastructure in the UK central North Sea.
The 42.25% stake in Bruce and 25% interest in Keith would be in addition to the transactions Serica agreed to earlier this year with BP that gave it operatorship of the two fields, plus the Rhum gas/condensate tieback.
Pending regulatory, government and partner consents, Serica aims to complete the latest transfer by the end of this summer.
Total would receive an initial $5 million in cash and a further $15 million paid in three instalments over a period of 24 months, and a share of pre-tax net cashflow from the fields over the short term.
At the same time, Total will retain liability for its share of costs of the decommissioning facilities and wells under the arrangement already in place. However, Serica will pay the company further deferred consideration covering 30% of Total’s future decommissioning costs when due, reduced by the tax relief attributable to Total on such costs.
Bruce was discovered in June 1974, 350 km (217 mi) northeast of Aberdeen in a water depth of 122 m (400 ft). BP started production - primarily gas with associated condensate and NGLs in 1993.
The field, served by three bridge-linked platforms, produces from 11 reservoir units, separated by faulting and has produced more than 3 tcf since start-up. Currently 212 wells are in production.
Keith, 6.8 km (4.2 mi) to the southwest in 120 m (393 ft) water depth, is a subsea tieback to the Bruce complex which entered production in 2000, with a second phase of development following two years later.
No further capital programs should be needed on Keith as the field is near the end of its life. Serica plans to continue production from its single well as long as possible – the well is set to cease production in 2019.
Wet gas from Bruce and Keith is processed at the Bruce complex, then transported via a 6-km (3.7-mi) spur line through the Frigg pipeline to St Fergus on the Scottish east coast for NGLs extraction.
Dry gas heads through a commingled gas stream at St Fergus into UK’s the National Transmission System. Condensate is separated at the Bruce complex then exported via a 24-in. pipeline 254 km (158 mi) to the Forties Unity platform.