Partners advance Athena field development

Partners in Athena oil field in the Outer Moray Firth of the UK North Sea have approved spending to begin development, expecting production to start in the second quarter of 2011.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 8 --
Partners in Athena oil field in the Outer Moray Firth of the UK North Sea have approved spending to begin development, expecting production to start in the second quarter of 2011.

Ithaca Energy (UK) Ltd., operator with a 22.5% interest, said the group will spend as much as $14.85 million to buy electrical submersible pumps, subsea trees, and engineering support.

They also commissioned a team to plan the development and submit an environmental statement and field development plan to authorities for approval. The team also will complete negotiation of contracts for a floating production, storage, and offtake vessel, subsea facilities, and drilling services.

Ithaca had considered tying Athena wells back to the Claymore platform but found the FPSO option faster (OGJ Online, July 21, 2008).

The company estimates initial gross production from the field of 22,000 b/d.

Ithaca has drilled and suspended three Athena wells, which will be reentered and completed. It plans to drill two more wells, one a producer and the other for water injection, in the fourth quarter this year and first quarter of 2011.

Production will flow through a subsea manifold to the standalone FPSO via a 2-km, 8-in. flowline. Shuttle tankers will carry oil from the FPSO.

Ithaca expects all offshore installation work to be complete by the end of the second quarter of 2011.

It said Sproule International Ltd. at the end of 2009 estimated Athena proved and probable reserves at 24.4 million bbl.

Other interests are Dyas UK Ltd. 74.5%, EWE AG 20%, and Zeus Petroleum 10%.

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