BG submits plan for Pi-Armada tieback

BG Norge is gearing up for its first operated development in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The company plans to tie the Pi field across the North Sea median line to its Armada platform complex in the UK sector, the fourth subsea tieback to these facilities.

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BG Norge is gearing up for its first operated development in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The company plans to tie the Pi field across the North Sea median line to its Armada platform complex in the UK sector, the fourth subsea tieback to these facilities.

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Pi in the Norwegian North Sea will be the second cross-border tieback to BG’s Armada platform.

Pi consists of two structures, north and south. The latter was discovered by a previous operator in block 6/3, while BG discovered Pi North in 2008 with exploration well 15/12-19. The two combined present a commercial proposition, with estimated reserves of 5.7 MMbbl of oil and condensate and 2 bcm (70.5 bcf) of gas.

The environmental statement for the project was issued earlier this year, and approvals from the governments in Britain and Norway are likely by mid-year. The cross-border E&P activity treaty signed by the two countries in 2005 should facilitate matters.

One subsea well is to be drilled on each of the two Pi structures. These will tieback separately to a 100-metric ton (110-ton) manifold within the Armada 500-m (1,640-ft) exclusion zone. The pipelines will be 8-in./12-in. (20.3/30.5-cm.) pipe-in-pipe systems, the inner pipe consisting of 22Cr or 13Cr steel, the outer pipe a combination of 22Cr steel, plastics, and/or carbon steel.

Both lines will have to skirt the exclusion zone of the North-West Seymour subsea well, another Armada satellite. The length of the tieback from Pi South will be 5.6 or 7.2 km (3.5/4.5 mi), while for Pi North it will be 8.2 km (5.1 mi), whichever route is chosen.

The manifold will have a spare third slot and will be equipped with subsea multi-phase flowmeters and a subsea isolation valve. The Pi fluids will access the platform via a new 30-in. (76-cm) riser caisson. On the topsides, production will be directed to a separator dedicated to handling flow from the Maria satellite.

Both drilling and subsea installation are due to start in spring 2011, with start-up the following October. Production could continue until 2021, but this will require the agreement of the Armada licensees to extend operations on the platform, currently expected to end in 2017.

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