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Petrofac brings Don Southwest field on stream

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, July 6 -- Petrofac Energy Developments started oil production from two wells on Don Southwest (Don SW) in the UK northern North Sea, adding to initial output from the nearby West Don field that began in April.

Total peak production from both fields is expected to reach more than 40,000 b/d.

During the second half of 2010, the company plans to bring on stream additional production and injection wells for the second phase of the Don SW development.

Petrofac is interpreting the structure and lateral of a 60 ft oil column in the Brent formation after drilling a sidetrack to an adjacent fault block, Area H, directly south of Don SW field. This was done to investigate the northern part of the block at low incremental cost.

Amjad Bseisu, chief executive of Petrofac Energy Developments, said the company is firming up plans for a 2010 campaign to optimize Area 5/6 development “and the early indications of our success in Area H give us confidence in the prospectivity of the surrounding areas.”

Don SW is an oil field comprising 450 ft thick Brent sequence sandstones, as producing in the nearby Thistle and South Magnus fields. The under-saturated oil is held in a combination of dip and fault traps at a depth of 11,000-11,500 ft.

Petrofac operates the block with a 60% interest, alongside Valiant Petroleum which has a 40% interest.

West Don field is on Blocks 211/18a West Don Area and 211/13b was developed via the floating production vessel, Northern Producer, and two production wells. The first tanker shipment of 472,000 bbl of oil from the West Don field has been delivered to a terminal in Rotterdam. Petrofac said, “The second production well and the injection well on West Don are expected to be brought on stream in the early part of the second half of 2009, with the injection wells on Don SW following in the latter part of year.”

Peak production from West Don is expected to reach 25,000 b/d and was a fast track initiative; it came onstream less than 1 year from receiving field development program approval.

Oil export from the Northern Producer floating production facility will take place initially via offshore tanker, switching to pipeline export via a subsea tie-back to existing infrastructure.

Petrofac Energy Developments operates west Don with Valiant Petroleum, Nippon Oil Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd., Stratic Energy, and First Oil.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at

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