Logic group chooses first project for small-field development program

By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON�UK North Sea government-industry competitiveness body Logic Friday chose the Nisus consortium for development design for BP's marginal Wood field, the first discovery to advance under the "satellite accelerator" program.

The Nisus consortium consists of Global Marine Integrated Services Reservoir Management Ltd., Stolt Offshore Ltd., and Wood Group Engineering Ltd.

BP did not develop Wood field, an oil and gas discovery, because it was "subeconomic under current development scenarios." It has estimated recoverable reserves of 10 million boe. It is on Block 22/18-6 between Arbroath and Marnock fields in the central North Sea.

Phase one of the Wood project will involve funded studies "to confirm that the technical and commercial aspects of the Nisus proposal are viable," said Logic Collaborative Project Coordinator Charles Miskin. The project is then would move into a contract definition phase this summer.

According to Miskin, the timing of the discovery's development will be "dependent on discussions with the proposed host facility," but first oil is being targeted for the second half of next year.

BP Regional President for Scotland Steve Marshall said, "The inclusion of Wood in (this) initiative is an attempt by BP to engage the creativity of the marketplace to develop a field that has to date proved difficult to make economic."

Marshall noted that Wood was significant "not so much for its scale," but because the project to bring the field on stream was a demonstration of the UK offshore industry's "willingness to collaborate to tackle the issues necessary to sustain activity in a maturing basin."

Wood is the first of five undeveloped UK North Sea discoveries earmarked last August to be brought to market under the Logic scheme. The other four are Solan, Strathmore, Kestrel, and Kessog.

Total reserves for the five fields�found by BP, Amerada Hess Ltd., and Shell UK Exploration & Production�are estimated at more than 200 million boe and could lead, according to Logic, to "as much as �500 million of new development investment."

Logic said plans are being "matured" for a second set of satellite accelerator projects, involving a "wider group of operators," that should be rolled out in the second quarter. These projects will also be based on a phased schedule. Logic said BP would likely be offering two further projects later this year.

Former UK Minister for Energy and Competitiveness Helen Liddell launched the satellite accelerator initiative last June with the goal of developing 300 North Sea discoveries undeveloped because of marginal reserves, technological challenges, or poor economics.

The Logic�Leading Oil & Gas Industry Competitiveness�initiative was launched in September 1999 by the UK Department of Trade & Industry (OGJ, Sept. 13, 1999, p. 32).

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