North Sea

Shell OKs first UK North Sea project in six years

16 Jan 2018   North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell gave the green light on Monday for an expansion of the Penguins oil and gas field in the UK North Sea, its first major new project in the ageing basin in six years. Shell said the development, which includes the construction of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, reaffirmed the Anglo-Dutch company’s commitment to the region after it sold around half of its assets there last year. “Penguins demonstrates the importance of Shell’s North Sea assets to the company’s upstream portfolio,” said Andy Brown, director of Shell’s oil and gas production, known as upstream. The FPSO is expected to produce up to 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Shell shares were 0.3 percent lower at 1145 GMT. The Penguins redevelopment is the first major project Shell has announced since 2012, when it made a final investment decision for the […]

North Sea industries could adapt and thrive during oil field maturation

16 Jan 2018   North Sea

Tearing down the infrastructure from aging North Sea oil and gas fields could generate a stream of revenue for the industry as a whole, a consultant group said. Royal Dutch Shell started the process of taking down legacy operations at the Bravo production platform in the North Sea last year. The Bravo platform supported Brent oil field development, but was closed down in 2014. Field maturation has forced the idling of several production platforms and Shell is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar plan to take them down. The British government estimated it could cost about $77.3 billion to decommission offshore infrastructure. Energy consultancy Westwood Group said up to $100 billion in spending on […]

North Sea oil production could be higher this year

12 Jan 2018   North Sea

Total British offshore oil and gas production was up from 2016 and even more, is expected as the Catcher field in the North Sea ramps up, Premiere Oil said. Premiere Oil said Thursday its total British production last year of nearly 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day was up 20 percent from 2016. Full year total production of 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent was in line with guidance, and up from the previous year by 5 percent. The company in late December started producing oil from the three fields — Burgman, Catcher and Varadero — that make up the Catcher complex in the North Sea. Initial production from its floating production, storage and offloading vessel parked over the area was around […]

North Sea decommissioning sparks paperwork questions

5 Jan 2018   North Sea

With decommissioning of some of the aging infrastructure in the North Sea underway, a trade group is making plans for what to do with all the paperwork. “Over the 40-plus year lifespan of an offshore asset, many thousands of boxes of physical records, and millions of electronic files are created,” Daniel Brown, the manager for Common Data Access, a subsidiary of trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said in a statement. “Once the asset is removed to be dismantled, many of the records associated with it are no longer required — but deciding what must be retained, and what may lawfully be destroyed, is not a simple task.” The government estimated it […]

Oil treading water even as Forties pipeline system returns to life

Oil prices started the trading day Thursday in static territory after pipeline operator Ineos said restrictions on a major North Sea network were lifted. “All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been fully lifted,” the company said in a statement. “All customers and control rooms have now been informed.” The Forties pipeline system, which carries about 40 percent of the oil and natural gas produced in the North Sea, was closed Dec. 11 after a hairline crack was discovered inland near Aberdeen, Scotland. Ineos said the line is repaired and the system should be back to normal as early as next week. The price of crude oil was more or less unmoved moments […]

All restrictions on Forties pipeline system lifted

29 Dec 2017   North Sea, Pipelines

Any limitations to the flow of oil and natural gas from the North Sea to the Forties pipeline system are now lifted, system operator Ineos said Thursday. Ineos shut down the Forties pipeline system from the North Sea to inland refineries on Dec. 11 after discovering a hairline crack on infrastructure near Aberdeen, Scotland. The system carries about 40 percent of the production from the British waters of the North Sea. The company said Thursday repairs to the pipeline are mechanically completed and it was progressing on the gradual full restart of the system. “All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been fully […]

New oil coming out of North Sea

28 Dec 2017   North Sea

Tens of thousands of barrels of new oil are now coming from the Catcher development off the northeast coast of Scotland, Premiere Oil said Wednesday. Premiere said initial production from its floating production, storage and offloading vessel parked over the three fields that make up the Catcher area will be around 10,000 barrels per day. A peak rate of around 60,000 bpd is expected during the first half of 2018. Tony Durrant, the company’s chief executive, said first oil was achieved on time and, at $1.6 billion, almost 30 percent under budget. “Catcher is an example of Premier Oil’s capability to deliver full cycle FPSO projects from exploration through to […]

Forties Starts Pumping At 50% Capacity

28 Dec 2017   North Sea

The Forties pipeline system in the North Sea has begun pumping crude oil at half of its normal capacity, an unnamed source from the trading circles told Reuters. The Forties system supplies 40 percent of the UK’s crude oil. Ineos, the operator of the Forties pipeline, yesterday said it has started doing pressure tests on the pipeline after it was repaired. Full flow will resume in early January.“A small number of customers are now sending oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows Ineos to carefully control the flow and pressure in the system,” the company said. Ineos shut down the Forties system in early December, following the discovery of hairline cracks. Initially, the company said repairs could take anywhere from two to four weeks, sending Brent soaring above US$65 a barrel. The pipeline normally pumps about 450,000 bpd, although […]

Oil, Gas Firms Could Lose Millions Due to Forties Pipeline Shutdown

12 Dec 2017   North Sea, Pipelines

Oil and gas firms could lose millions of dollars in the event of a prolonged shut down of the Forties Pipeline System, oil and gas analysts at GMP FirstEnergy have confirmed. Independent oil and gas firms EnQuest plc and Premier Oil plc could lose millions of dollars in the event of a prolonged shut down of the Forties Pipeline System, oil and gas analysts at GMP FirstEnergy have confirmed. The analysts highlighted that EnQuest’s operated Greater Kittiwake Area and Scolty/Crathes development, along with Premier Oil’s operated Balmoral area, non-operated Elgin-Franklin asset and other minor fields, would be impacted as a result of a shut down of Britain’s largest oil pipeline. GMP analysts have stated that every month of shut down would reduce the energy investment banking firm’s expected cashflow forecast for EnQuest and Premier Oil by around $7 million and between $10-12 million, respectively. The shut down of the […]

Statoil, Shell and Total to store CO2 offshore Norway

3 Oct 2017   North Sea, Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was leading a partnership aimed at advancing Paris climate efforts through carbon capture and storage. Statoil said it would lead a project alongside the Norwegian subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell and French supermajor Total in storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial facilities in eastern Norway at an offshore site. “Statoil believes that without carbon capture and storage, it is not realistic to meet the global climate target as defined in the Paris agreement,” Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for new energy solutions, said in a statement . The International Energy Agency described carbon capture and storage as a necessary addition to other low-carbon energy technologies meant […]

Sources: UK Forties Oil Output Below Plan, Delaying Some Cargoes

26 Aug 2017   North Sea

The North Sea Forties crude stream is pumping less oil than expected, leading to delays in the loading of some cargoes of the crude, two trade sources say. LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – The North Sea Forties crude stream is pumping less oil than expected, leading to delays in the loading of some cargoes of the crude, two trade sources said on Friday. “Production is below plan,” one of the sources said. “There are deferrals being offered.” Forties was originally scheduled to load 271,000 barrels per day in August, a lower-than-usual rate due to planned seasonal maintenance at offshore oilfields connected to the pipeline. The two trade sources said that the Total-operated Elgin-Franklin field in the North Sea was returning to operation from maintenance later than expected, reducing Forties output from the planned levels. Total could not immediately be reached for comment. Forties is the largest of the four […]

Total overtakes Shell in North Sea where appetite for assets remains high

23 Aug 2017   North Sea

French oil major Total ( TOTF.PA ) has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell ( RDSa.L ) to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk’s ( MAERSKb.CO ) Norwegian and UK producing assets. The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia. The deal boosts the share of eight global oil majors in the North Sea – Statoil, Total, Shell, Exxon Mobil ( XOM.N ), Conoco ( COP.N ), ENI <ENI.MI, BP ( BP.L ) and Chevron ( CVX.N ) – to back above three […]