Moray Firth study tops North Sea action

Aug. 24, 1998
    U.K. offshore operators unveiled a study of potential for joint development of a number of marginal finds in the Moray Firth off Northeast Scotland. In other U.K. offshore news, Shell U.K. Ltd. has decided to sell its stake in Kingfisher field, which came on stream just last October, while Norway's Stat- oil AS reported the end of production in Tommeliten field. The U.K. operators, known as the South Halibut Basin Operators' Forum (Shbof), are looking for ways to maximize
Ketch topsides are shown being loaded out from the Odebrecht Oil & Gas Services Ltd. fabrication yard at Lowestoft, U.K. The 1,200-ton deck will be installed on a four-legged steel jacket in U.K. North Sea Block 44/28b. Shell U.K. Exploration & Production is developing Ketch, which has estimated gas reserves of 350-420 bcf, with an unmanned platform linked by pipeline to the Caister-Murdoch gas export system (OGJ, Aug. 4, 1997, p. 30). Photo courtesy of Associated British Ports.
U.K. offshore operators unveiled a study of potential for joint development of a number of marginal finds in the Moray Firth off Northeast Scotland.

In other U.K. offshore news, Shell U.K. Ltd. has decided to sell its stake in Kingfisher field, which came on stream just last October, while Norway's Stat- oil AS reported the end of production in Tommeliten field.

Moray Firth prospects

The U.K. operators, known as the South Halibut Basin Operators' Forum (Shbof), are looking for ways to maximize potential for a number of oil and gas finds in the Moray Firth, where only Beatrice field is producing.

Shbof comprises Amerada Hess Ltd., ARCO British Ltd., BG Exploration & Production Ltd., Shell U.K. Ltd., and Beatrice operator Talisman Energy (U.K.) Ltd.

The group let contract for the study to Genesis Engineering Consultants Ltd., Aberdeen, in the hope of uncovering benefits in joint work on Blake, Cromarty, Goldeneye, Hannay, and 14/26a discoveries.

Shell and Amerada have already started to work together on the Goldeneye discovery, for which development depends on export of gas in an area with no gas processing infrastructure (OGJ, Feb. 2, 1998, p. 36).

Shell said its decision to sell its interest in U.K. North Sea Block 16/8 Kingfisher field was a matter of portfolio optimization. The field was developed as a subsea satellite of Brae B platform and currently produces 30,000 b/d of oil and condensate and 138 MMcfd of gas.

Malcolm Brindred, managing director of Shell U.K. Exploration & Production, operating joint venture of Shell U.K. and Esso Exploration & Production U.K. Ltd., said: "Kingfisher, which has no link with any of our existing North Sea infrastructure and is over 100 km from our nearest producing asset, is not of strategic importance in our portfolio but may have great value to other operators."

Shell holds a 49.7% interest and operatorship in Kingfisher, with license partners Esso 49.4% and Marathon Oil U.K. Ltd. 0.9%.

Norwegian projects

Statoil said Tommeliten subsea satellite field was shut in because of closure of Edda platform, its host, during Ekofisk redevelopment. Tommeliten's Gamma reservoir was brought on stream in 1988 and yielded 10 billion cu m of gas, 24 million bbl of oil, and 560,000 metric tons of gas liquids.

The field's six wells will be plugged in 2000, and, in the meantime, Statoil will work to find a way to reuse the subsea template and 11-km flowline used to develop the Block 1/9 field.

Next year, Statoil plans to drill an appraisal well in Tommeliten Alpha structure, which lies 10-12 km south of Tommeliten Gamma.

Meanwhile, Ekofisk operator Phillips Petroleum Co. Norway cut the Norpipe gas trunk line link to Ekofisk field as part of a project to install a bypass pipeline to reroute third-party gas around the new field center.

The Ekofisk bypass is due to start up in late August and will enable gas in the Statpipe trunkline to be routed to Emden, Germany, via Norpipe without passing through Ekofisk facilities.

Phillips has restarted production in Ekofisk on Aug. 22 (see Industry Briefs, pp. 34-35) with a new processing/ transportation platform and a drilling platform, installed after seabed subsidence forced replacement of existing Ekofisk platforms (OGJ, Mar. 23, 1998, p. 37).

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