Petrofac begins Don fields drilling campaign

Petrofac Energy has spudded the first well on the West Don field in the UK North Sea, which is expected to start production in second-quarter 2009, along with Don Southwest field.

Aug 27th, 2008

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Aug. 27 -- Petrofac Energy Developments has spudded the first well on the West Don field in the UK North Sea, which is expected to start production in second-quarter 2009, along with Don Southwest field. The company is using the Transocean John Shaw semisubmersible drilling rig.

The fields, 150-km northeast of the Shetland Islands, are in 170 m of water. West Don is on Blocks 211/13b and 211/18a. Petrofac will drill seven wells on the fields over the next year, with three sequential wells on West Don prior to moving across to Don Southwest early in 2009.

Petrofac has begun laying the infield pipelines and export infrastructure for the fields' development. Pipeline trenching is also complete. The installation of the subsea structures and diving tie-ins is scheduled to start at the end of August.

Initially oil will be exported by offshore tanker loading for 6 months and then will switch to pipeline export via a subsea line to Lundin Petroleum's Thistle platform and the Brent pipeline system. Terms have now been agreed with Lundin Petroleum for the export service.

Don Southwest's oil production is expected to hit 12,000 b/d at peak rate and will decline over 10 years. It will cost £200 million to bring on stream.

Petrofac will invest £200 million to drill two production wells and one water injection well in West Don, where Petrofac hopes to produce 20,000 b/d of oil at peak rate.

"The project remains on target for first oil production during the first half of 2009, delivering significant value for Petrofac and the field's joint venture partners," said Bill Dunnett, executive vice-president, project development, for Petrofac Energy Developments.

Petrofac Energy Developments operates both Don Southwest, with a 60% working interest, and West Don 27.7% working interest.
Its partner on Don Southwest is Valiant Petroleum PLC and with West Don these are Valiant, First Oil, Stratic Energy, and Nippon Petroleum.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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