NEO Energy will acquire the Western Isles floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel for redevelopment of Buchan field on the UK Continental Shelf, said partner Jersey Oil & Gas PLC.
Western Isles is currently operating in the UK North Sea and is owned by operator Dana Petroleum (E&P) Ltd. (76.9188%) and NEO (23.0812%). Agreements have been executed for NEO to acquire Dana Petroleum’s interest in the vessel.
The FPSO has been in operation since early 2017 and is scheduled to come off-station as part of the planned cessation of production of Western Isles fields in second-half 2024.
Following handover of the vessel to NEO, a modest work program will prepare it for redeployment on Buchan. Works will include installation of water injection booster pumps, produced water injection modifications, and preparation of the vessel for future electrification by connecting it to one of the anticipated third-party floating wind power developments close to the Greater Buchan Area (GBA) following recent Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) license awards made by Crown Estate Scotland.
The FPSO is the lowest cost development option and has the lowest full-cycle carbon footprint out of all potential options evaluated based on the ability to re-use existing infrastructure in the field and to be electrified. These modifications are expected to be completed by early 2026 for anticipated production start-up in late 2026.
Front-end engineering and design is undeway for drilling, design of the subsea infrastructure connecting the wells to the FPSO, and finalization of modifications required to prepare the FPSO for redeployment. Additionally, preparation of the environmental statement for the Buchan redevelopment is on-going and expected to be submitted to the regulator before end-2023, along with the draft field development program.
The first phase of planned GBA work involves redevelopment of the Buchan field. Subsequent phases are expected to involve tie-back of the Verbier and J2 discoveries that lie within the GBA license area and potential regional third-party discovery tie-backs to the FPSO.
In April, Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG) farmed out 50% interest in the Greater Buchan Area (GBA) licenses in the Central North Sea to NEO Energy (OGJ Online, Apr. 7, 2023). NEO is operator of the license area.