RWE, Sterling start UK Breagh gas production

RWE Dea UK started gas production Oct. 12 at Breagh field, one of the largest discoveries under development in the UK North Sea Southern Gas basin.

Initial production was controlled to allow final plant proving and commissioning, before being ramped up to 97 MMscfd from the A01, A03, and A04 wells. As the A02 and A05 wells are brought fully onstream, gross production is expected to reach 135 MMscfd during November.

Sterling Resources Ltd., Calgary, was awarded the Breagh licenses as operator on a 100% basis in 2004. The company furthered appraisal of the field by drilling wells in 2007 and 2008 and undertook development scoping work.

RWE Dea UK acquired its current 70% interest and became operator in 2009, and Sterling retained 30%.

Breagh is in 62 m of water on UK Continental Shelf blocks 42/12a and 42/13a about 100 km east of Teesside. Gas is exported via a 20-in. pipeline from the Breagh Alpha platform to Coatham Sands, Redcar, on the UK mainland, and then to an 11-km onshore pipeline for processing at the Teesside gas processing plant owned by North Sea Midstream Partners at Seal Sands.

After processing, the gas will enter the UK National Transmission System. Sterling’s equity share of the gas is being sold at UK spot market price.

Breagh is Sterling’s first large-scale production, said John Rapach, Sterling’s chief operating officer.

“We look forward to bringing further gas through this major new infrastructure in the Southern North Sea with our own equity gas in Breagh Phase 2 and Crosgan, and from other potential developments surrounding the Breagh field area.”

Jake Ulrich, Sterling interim chief executive officer, said, “We are most appreciative of the patience of Sterling’s shareholders over the past 15 months and are pleased to finally achieve this major milestone. This is a transformational event for the company and we now look forward to using Breagh’s cash flow to accelerate value realization for shareholders.”

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