Venture Production starts Chestnut field oil flow

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Sept. 23 -- Venture Production PLC has started production from Chestnut field in the UK North Sea after technical problems delayed it for a year.

The field, which holds 6.8 million boe reserves, was developed with two subsea wells tied back to the Sevan Hummingbird floating production, storage, and offloading unit. It has an oil storage capacity of 270,000 bbl and can carry as many as 3 risers and umbilicals. The platform will have an oil processing capacity of 30,000 b/d and a water injection capacity of 20,000 b/d of water.

Initial average net production is expected to hit 6,000-10,000 boe/d. The FPSO is the first cylindrical vessel to be deployed in the North Sea.

Venture said a second Chestnut production well was spudded on Sept. 7 that will be completed and tied in during early 2009.

The production well will take 9 months to come on stream. Chestnut was discovered 22 years ago, but small reserves and limited technology stopped its development. It is 180 km east of Aberdeen in water 120 m deep and is 13 km southeast of Alba oil field.

Mike Wagstaff, Venture's chief executive, said the field was one of the smallest standalone developments in the North Sea, and innovative new technology had made it a viable proposal.

The company, which operates the project, has a 69.875% working interest in the part of Block 22/2a containing the field. Its partners are Bow Valley Petroleum (UK) Ltd. with a 15.125% stake and Atlantic Petroleum UK Ltd. with a 15% interest.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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