Acon completes Ardmore field abandonment on UKCS

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Nov. 29 Acorn Oil & Gas Ltd. has completed the 2-year abandonment program for Ardmore field on the UK continental shelf. The company removed three wellheads and the seabed well template.

"If left on the seabed, these would have represented a potential danger to trawlers. The work completed was confirmed by a thorough 'as left' survey of the development location," Acorn said.

The company worked closely with the UK's Department for Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform to ensure that the final abandonment could be carried out avoiding any cost exposure to the treasury's account.

Previously Tuscan Energy North Sea Ltd. (TESL) had operated and redeveloped the field with the Rowan Gorilla VII mobile drilling and production unit, and first oil was produced in September 2003. However, Tuscan ran out of funding for the drilling program and ceased production of 6,000 b/d in June 2005 after going into receivership.

"TESL defaulted under the terms of the field joint operating agreement and left Acorn to discharge the entire abandonment obligation with 100% of the costs to [Acorn's] own account. Acorn is seeking to recover costs from the Tuscan administrator," Acorn said.

An Acorn spokesman told OGJ it wants Tuscan's administrator to pay 65% of the abandonment costs, but he declined to reveal the program's total cost. Tuscan and Acorn had shared Ardmore on a 65:35 basis.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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