Nov 2018: BP (operator), Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips announced first oil production from the Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region. It is the second phase of development of the Clair field with 2 new, bridge-linked platforms (total 36 slots) and export pipelines to Sullom Voe designed to recover an 640 mm bbls of oil at a plateau level of 120,000 bbls per day.
Nov 2018: Azinor Catalyst (operator, 25%) announced an oil discovery at its 9/14a-17B well and associated side-track on the Agar-Plantain Prospect. Catalyst believes the discovery holds recoverable resources of between 15 and 50 mm bbls oil equivalent. Partners are Nautical Petroleum (50%) and Faroe Petroleum (25%).
Nov 2018: The OGA announced the 31st Offshore Licensing Round has attracted 36 applications covering 164 blocks in frontier areas of the UKCS. Applications were received from 35 companies. It intends to offer awards to successful applicants during Q2 2019.
Oct 2018: Horse Hill Developments (HHDL), a UKOG subsidiary, considers the Portland oil field in the Weald Basin to be commercially viable after an extended well test. HHDL targets start up of oil production in 2019 with the first planned horizontal producer attaining rates of 720-1,080 bbls of oil per day.
Oct 2018: RockRose announced acquisition of a 30.43% interest in Blocks 23/11a, 23/16b and 23/16c which contain the Arran gas/condensate field in the Central North Sea. An FID has been made by the partners to develop the field and Shell has become operator. Four development wells will be drilled tied back to the Shearwater platform.
Sep 2018: Total (operator, 60%) announced a gas discovery on the Glendronach prospect,on Block 206/04a in a water depth of 300m, West of Shetland. The well drilled a gas column of 42m in a Lower Cretaceous reservoir. Recoverable resources are estimated at 28 bcm. The discovery can be tied back to infrastructure around the Edradour field. Partners are Ineos (20%) and SSE (20%).
Aug 2018: Premier Oil (operator, 50%) and Dana (50%) announced the sanction of Tolmount Main gas field in the Southern North Sea. It is expected to produce around 3 bcm of gas a year at peak from an unmanned platform exporting to shore via a new pipeline. Capex is estimated at US$120 mm with first gas targeted for Q4 2020.
Jul 2018: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) launched the 31st Offshore Licensing Round offering blocks in frontier areas of the UKCS. A total of 1766 blocks of open acreage is now available. The OGA is also asking companies to propose additional blocks in mature areas. Companies have until 7th November 2018 to apply.
Jun 2018: Shell (operator, 32%) and Esso (68%) have made an FID for the Fram gas/condensate field which is expected to produce around 0.44 bcm a year and 5,300 bbls per day of condensate. Two wells will be drilled with production transported via a subsea pipeline to the Starling field and then on to the Shearwater platform.
May 2018: The OGA announced that it has offered 123 licenses, over 229 blocks or part-blocks, to 61 companies in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round. The OGA plans to launch the 31st Licensing Round in mid-2018.
Mar 2018: Apache (operator, 100%) announced discovery of the Garten oil field on Block 9/18a Area-W, 6 kms south of the Beryl Alpha Platform. The well encountered more than 200m of net oil pay in stacked Jurassic sandstone reservoirs and will be suspended as a future producer tied back to Beryl. First production is anticipated in Q1 2019.
Mar 2018: Drilling in the North Sea was at its lowest level since 1973, with only 94 wells drilled in 2017. However, the amount of oil estimated to have been discovered was its highest since 2008 at 350 mm bbls.
Jan 2018: BP announced the Capercaillie discovery (100%) in Block 29/4e in the Central North Sea and the Achmelvich discovery ((operator, 52.6%) with Shell (28%) and Chevron (19.4%)) in Block 206/9b west of Shetland. Capercaillie encountered light oil and gas-condensate in Paleocene and Cretaceous reservoirs. Achmelvich encountered oil in Mesozoic reservoirs.
Dec 2017: Premier Oil (operator, 50%) achieved first oil from Catcher in the North Sea, made up of he Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields discovered between 2010 and 2013. Partners are Cairn (20%), MOL (20%) and Dyas (10%). The fields have 22 subsea wells (14 producers and 8 water injectors) tied back to the BW Catcher FPSO.
Nov 2017: The 30th Offshore Licensing Round has drawn 96 applications across 239 blocks according to the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). Sixty-eight companies applied. The 31st Round is due to open in mid-2018.
Nov 2017: Dana (subsidiary of KNOC, operator, 77%) and Cieco (23%) announced first oil from the Western Isles development. The Harris and Barra fields lie in the Northern North Sea and include production and water injection wells tied back to a cylindrical FPSO with oil export using shuttle tankers. Capacity is 44,000 bbls of oil per day.
Sep 2017: BP started oil production from the Arundel field,15 kms north of the Andrew platform in the central North Sea, The field was discovered in 2000 with appraisal wells drilled in 2008 and 2009. A single horizontal well is being used with a subsea tie-in via the Kinnoull pipeline to Andrew.
Aug 2017: Total (operator, 60%), DONG (20%) and SSE (20%) have started production from the Edradour & Glenlivet gas/condensate fields in 300 to 435m of water in the West of Shetland area. The development comprises a 35 km tie-back of 3 subsea wells to the Laggan-Tormore production system which includes a 143 km pipeline to the onshore Shetland Gas Plant.
Aug 2017: The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has expanded the 30th Licensing Round offer with seven more blocks. They are 110/5; 110/10; 110/16; 110/18; 113/24; 113/29 and 113/30 which were not initially on offer pending clarification of boundary lines.
Jul 2017: The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the 30th Offshore Licensing Round with 813 blocks or part blocks on offer in mature areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Blocks are on offer in the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea, the West of Shetland and the East Irish Sea. The Round is open for 120 days until 21 November 2017.
Jul 2017: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) offered for award 12 licenses to 11 companies in the 2016 Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round. Fourteen blocks were originally on offer in response to industry nominations of areas outside of those covered by the 2016 frontier 29th Licensing Round. The round offered blocks under flexible terms.
Jun 2017: First gas has been delivered from the Cayley field, part of the redevelopment of the Montrose Area in the Central North Sea operated by Repsol Sinopec (58.97%) with Godwin and Shaw. The project incorporates a new bridge-linked production platform connected to Montrose Alpha.
Jun 2017: EnQuest has confirmed that first oil from the offshore Kraken heavy oil development has been achieved. Thirteen wells that have been drilled comprising 7 producers and 6 injectors. These will be brought online in phases to maximise recovery.
Jun 2017: Centrica will permanently close operations at the Rough natural gas storage facility following completion of a testing program. It will produce all recoverable cushion gas from the field, estimated at just over 5 bcm.
May 2017: BP has announced first oil from the redeveloped Schiehallion Area following completion of the Quad 204 project in the west of Shetland region. An estimated additional 450 mm barrels of resources has been developed. The project is expected to ramp up to a plateau level of 130,000 bbls of oil per day. Production from the new Clair Ridge project nearby is expected in 2018.
May 2017: Centrica will drill a new US$45mm production well at the Chestnut field aiming to increase production from the Hummingbird Spirit FPSO from under 4,000 bbls of oil per day to nearly 14,000 bbls per day. The field came onstream in 2008 and has produced significantly more than forecast.
May 2017: First oil has begun to flow from the Shaw field, part of the redevelopment of the Montrose/Arbroath Area in the Central North Sea operated by Repsol Sinopec (58.97%). The project incorporates the development of 3 new fields (Godwin, Cayley and Shaw).
Mar 2017: Hurricane announced that the Halifax well (205/23-3A) is an oil discovery and linked to the Lancaster field. The reservoir is fractured with a 1000m column of oil with similar properties to Lancaster. The field is believed to be the largest undeveloped discovery on the UKCS.The well has been suspended for further testing and/or deepening to establish an oil water contact.
Mar 2017: Maersk (operator, 65.941% and 6.255%) began oil production from the Flyndre field tied back to the Clyde platform. The field is in Blocks 30/13 and 30/14 (UK) and Block 1/5 (Norway). It was discovered in 1974 and straddles the boundary. Partners are Repsol Sinopec (22.739% and 4.24%), Statoil Petroleum (0.471%) and Petoro (0.354%).
Mar 2017: The OGA has offered for award 25 licences for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies in the 29th Offshore Licensing Award for frontier areas. Two areas, Rockall and the Mid-North Sea High, were the focus of Government funded seismic acquisition in 2015. The 30th Offshore Licensing Round will focus on mature areas and will be announced later in 2017.
Feb 2017: Ithaca announced start-up of the Stella field on Block 30/6 in the Central Graben through a shuttle tanker. Ramp-up will begin when gas processing facilities are complete. The field includes the Andrew sandstone containing oil and gas/condensate and the Ekofisk sandstone containing oil.
Dec 2016: First gas has flowed from the Cygnus field, set to be the largest producing gas field in the UK in 2017 Cygnus was discovered in 1988 around 150 kms off the coast of Lincolnshire, England. The Cygnus complex has 4 platforms, 10 wells and two subsea structures. The field is operated by Engie (38.75%), with Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%).
Dec 2016: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said that companies can apply for 14 new blocks in the Offshore 2016 Supplementary Round outside of the 29th Oil and Gas Licensing Round offer area. Companies have until March 2017 to apply.
Nov 2016: Enquest (operator, 50%) and MOL (50%) announced first oil from the Scolty/Crathes development in the Central North Sea. Estimated to contain up to 15 mm bbls of oil, Scolty was discovered in 2007 and Crathes in 2011. The development consists of 2 horizontal wells tied to the Kittiwake platform with oil exported via the Forties System.
Nov 2016: Chevron began production at its HP/HT Alder gas and condensate field discovered in 1975 in the Central North Sea. A single subsea well is tied back to the Britannia platform.
Oct 2016: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has attracted 29 applications from 24 companies covering 113 blocks in the 29th Frontier Licensing Round which targeted under-explored areas. Some of the proposed work programmes include firm well commitments. The upcoming 30th Offshore Licensing Round will cover mature areas of the UKCS.
Sep 2016: Hurricane announced a significant hydrocarbon column in appraisal well 205/21a-7 in the West of Shetlands, Lancaster field yielding a flow rate of up to 11,000 bbls of oil per day using an an electrical submersible pump from its fractured basement reservoir. A 7Z horizontal sidetrack well will now be drilled.
Aug 2016: Premier (operator) has discovered heavy oil in the Bagpuss well, 13/25-1, on the Halibut Horst in the Outer Moray Firth, drilled with the Ocean Valiant semi-sub. Partners are Maersk, EnCounter, Groliffe and North Sea Energy. The well has been plugged and abandoned.
Jul 2016: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the 29th Offshore Licensing Round with more than 1200 blocks on offer. The Round marks the launch of the Innovate Licence concept allowing licensees to design an optimal work programme. Companies have until 26th October 2016 to apply.
Apr 2016: Premier Oil announced that first oil has been achieved from the Solan field. The first producer well is being naturally flowed at a deliberately restricted initial rate after which the ESP will be turned on. A planned shut down will allow commissioning of the water injection plant, tie-in of a second injection well and tie-in of a second producer well by mid-year.
Mar 2016: Statoil (operator, 81.625%) and Shell (18.375%) will postpone the Bressay project due to low oil prices. Statoil also operates the Mariner field set for first oil in the second half of 2018. Bressay stretches over 4 licences and has reserves of 100-300 mm bbls of oil.
Mar 2016: UK Oil & Gas announced that oil flows in excess of 900 bbls per day have been achieved from a second zone at the Horse Hill-1 discovery in the Weald basin without pumping. The combined average output from the Upper and Lower Kimmeridge limestones is now over 1,360 bbls per day.
Feb 2016: Total (operator, 60%) started production from the Laggan and Tormore gas and condensate fields in 600m of water in the West of Shetland area. The project is a 140 km tie-back of 4 subsea wells to the new onshore Shetland Gas Plant. They have no offshore surface infrastructure. Partners are DONG (20%) and SSE (20%).
Dec 2015: TAQA (operator, 64.5%) announced first oil from the Cladhan field in the North Sea in a water depth of 150m. It is developed as a subsea tie-back (2 producer wells and 1 injection well) to the Tern Alpha platform and straddles blocks 210/29a and 210/30a. Partners are Sterling (2%) and MOL (33.5%).
Dec 2015: - The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) announced that 159 onshore blocks under the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round are being offered to successful applicants, incorporated into 93 onshore licenses. Around 75% of the blocks relate to unconventional shale oil or gas.
Dec 2015: EnQuest has approval for development plan for the Scolty/Crathes fields in the central North Sea at a cost of US$125mm. Single horizontal wells will be drilled on each field tied back to the Kittiwake platform. First oil is due in 2017.
Oct 2015: EnQuest (operator, 65%) announced first oil from the Alma/Galia development in Blocks 30/24c and 30/25c in the Central North Sea. The company continues to open up wells with full production rates expected from 2016. Production is via the EnQuest Producer FPSO.
Oct 2015: Statoil announced that commencement of production from the Mariner field will be delayed from 2017 to the second half of 2018. The cost increase is just above 10% compared to the original plan.
Aug 2015: The Culzean gas/condensate HPHT field, the largest sanctioned in the UK since 1990, has been approved for a $4.6bn development. The field was discovered in 2008 and production is expected to start in 2019. Maersk is the operator.
Aug 2015: The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) announced that 27 blocks from the 14th Onshore Licensing Round will be offered. A second group of 132 blocks will have further environmental assessment. The Round, launched in July 2014, received 95 applications from 47 companies.
Jul 2015: The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) announced remaining winners from the 28th Offshore Licensing Round. The 41 new licences in addition to 134 in late 2014 makes it one of the largest rounds since the first in 1964 – a total of 175 licences over 353 blocks from 173 applications.
Apr 2015: BP has started drilling on the Loyal field marking the start of a 7-year drilling campaign west of Shetlands. Drilling will be carried out on the Schiehallion and Loyal fields as part of the Quad 204 development by a new dual derrick semisub. Five wells are planned prior to first oil from the new Glen Lyon FPSO at the end of 2016.
Apr 2015: Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) (operator, 65%) with Magellan (35%) announced that the Horse Hill-1 (HH-1) well in PEDL 137 in the Weald Basin may have significant oil reserves primarily in the the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge mudstone sequence. The hope is that it can be produced using conventional horizontal drilling techniques.
Mar 2015: LNG imports in 2014 were 20% higher than 2013 whereas pipeline imports were 19% lower driven by the fall in LNG prices. All gas imports were lower by 10% as demand fell 9% due to warmer temperatures. There was a small increase in gas use for electricity generation.
Mar 2015: GDF Suez (operator, 30%) announced the Dalziel oil discovery (22/16-6 - PL1799) in the Central North Sea which flowed at 8,000 bbls of oil equiv. per day. The well is being side-tracked for appraisal. Partners are RWE DEA (25%), JX Nippon (25%) and Total (20%).
Jan 2015: Total has started gas/condensate production from West Franklin Phase 2 in the Central Graben, supplying 40,000 bbls of oil equivalent per day to the Elgin/Franklin hub.It includes 3 new wells and 2 new platforms. Total is operator (46.2%) with Eni (21.9%), BG (14.1%), E.ON (5.2%), ExxonMobil (4.3%), Chevron (3.9%), Summit (2.2%) and Dyas (2.2%).
Jan 2015: According to Wood Mackenzie, E & P investment in 2014 was US$19bn despite rising costs, poor exploration results and falling oil prices squeezing project economics. A third of the spend was on 5 assets (Mariner, Schiehallion, Laggan, Clair and Golden Eagle) but 12 new fields may start production in 2015.
Dec 2014: BP has started producing oil from the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea into BP's existing Andrew platform with hydrocarbons being transported to the mainland via the Forties oil pipeline and the CATS gas pipeline.
Dec 2014: Statoil has awarded the contract for drilling and well services on the Mariner field to Schlumberger commencing in Jan 2015 initially for 4 years. The Mariner field is located 150 kms east of the Shetland Isles and is the largest development on the UKCS in more than a decade. Drilling of up to 130 wells is planned to start in 2016 with production in 2017.
Nov 2014: DECC announced the offer of awards for Licenses in the 28th Seaward Licensing Round. An initial tranche of offers have been made of 134 production licences covering 252 blocks. A further group of applications will be decided after environmental assessments.
Nov 2014: The Golden Eagle Area Development (GEAD), comprising the Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields ,has begun oil production. GEAD is in blocks 20/1S, 20/1N and 14/26a at a water depth from 89-139m. It is expected to reach a peak rate of 70,000 bbls per day in 2015. Nexen (CNOOC) is operator (36.54%) with Maersk (31.56%), Suncor (26.69%) and Edinburgh Oil and Gas (5.21%).
Oct 2014: Total (operator, 80%) and Dong Energy have opted for a joint development of the Edradour and Glenlivet fields, tieing-in to the Laggan and Tormore pipeline to Sullom Voe. Production start-up is planned for 2018. Glenlivet, in 435m of water, will be developed with 2 wells and Edradour, at a water depth of 300m, will have a single well.
Oct 2014: GDF Suez and BP announced an oil discovery in the Central North Sea spanning blocks 30/1f (P1588) and 30/1c (P363). The well was drilled with a jack-up rig under a joint agreement between the two licence groups and was tested at a rate of 5,350 bbls of oil equivalent per day. The discovery is called Marconi by GDF SUEZ and Vorlich by BP.
Sep 2014: Centrica (operator, 55%) has discovered gas at the Pegasus West well in block 43/14b in the Southern Gas Basin in waters 30m deep. The well lies near to the producing Cavendish Field. Third Energy Offshore (35%) and Atlantic Petroleum (10%) are partners.
Aug 2014: The Laggan-Tormore gas condensate fields will start production in 2015, not 2014 due to delays in construction of the gas treatment plant inthe Shetland Islands. Total (operator, 80%), along with Dong (20%), is developing the fields at a cost of US$5.5 bn.
Jul 2014: Premier reports that the offshore installation of the Solan field, west of the Shetland Islands, will begin in August 2014 with total project cost to first oil estimated at US$1.4 bn. The field will include 4 subsea wells tied back to an unmanned processing deck. It is expected to produce a total of 40 mm bbls of oil with an initial production rate of 24,000 bbls per day starting in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Jul 2014: Total will develop the Edradour gas field in the West of Shetlands after buying a 60% stake in the neighbouring Glenlivet field. Total holds 75% of Edradour with Dong (25%). Total now holds 60% of Glenlivet with Dong retaining 20%, Faroe Petroleum (10%) and First Oil (10%).
Jun 2014: Premier has approval of its Catcher area development plan in the Central North Sea tol produce 96 mm bbls of oil equivalent at a peak rate of 50,000 bbls per day. The project will entail 22 subsea wells on the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields tied back to an FPSO. The oil will be offloaded by tankers with gas exported through the SEGAL facilities. First oil is targeted for mid-2017.
May 2014: The Cepheus 44/12a-6 well has discovered gas within the Lower Leman Sandstone in the Southern Gas Basin. It was deviated from a top hole location in block 44/12a to the target in block 44/12b (Licence P1731). The discovery is near to the Cygnus development. The P1731 licence operator is GDF Suez (34.48%) with Centrica (48.28%) and Bayerngas (17.24%).
May 2014: The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) reports that the 28th Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round has received 173 applications for 370 blocks. The department aims to start awarding acreage in the autumn. This compares with 2012 when DECC received applications for 418 blocks and 2010 when 378 blocks were awarded, the highest number since licensing began in 1964.
May 2014: Dana has completed the first oil production well and drilled 3 further wells in the Western Isles Development Project. All 4 subsea trees have been installed on the seabed by the drilling rig Ocean Nomad. The project, operated by Dana (77%) with CIECO (23%), is a development of the Harris and Barra fields in the Northern North Sea with 5 production and 4 injection wells tied back to an FPSO.
Apr 2014: Taqa (operator) and Sterling Resources announced that first production from the Cladhan field in the North Sea is expected at the end of the first quarter of 2015. Development drilling will resume this month and installation of pipelines and tie-back to the Tern Alpha platform will begin in mid 2014. Initial production will be 17,000 bbls per day.
Feb 2014: Production at the Murchison field have ceased by operator CNR. The field, discovered in 1975, supplied 150,383 bbls per day at peak. Almost 400 mm bbls of oil have been produced from 98 development wells. Infrastructure will be completely removed by 2019.
Jan 2014: The UK launched its 28th round of offshore licensing. The previous 27th round saw a record number of licences awarded. In 2013, 36 offshore projects, with a capex of over UK£9 bn, were approved. Companies have until 25th Apr to submit applications.
Jan 2014: Wood Mackenzie estimates capital investment in 2013 was the highest since the 1970s. However, only 13 new fields were brought onstream, lower than the 21 expected, and capital investment is unlikely to be sustained at current high levels beyond 2015. Exploration success has been poor since the beginning of 2011 with just 52 exploratory wells spudded in 2013.
Jan 2014: Chevron has received approval to develop the Alder field in Block 15/29a in the Central North Sea. First production is expected in 2016. Discovered in 1975, Alder has a HP/HT gas condensate reservoir and will be developed via a single subsea well tied back to the Britannia Platform. Chevron is operator with 73.684% along with ConocoPhillips (26.316%).
Jan 2014: GDF SUEZ has announced first gas from the West well of the Juliet field in Block 47/14b on the west flank of the Southern Gas Basin. A second well (Juliet East) will come onstream within 3 months. At plateau, the 2 wells will produce 0.8 bcm per year with gas transported by pipeline to Pickerill A platform and then via its pipeline to Theddlethorpe terminal.
Dec 2013: TAQA has approval for development of the Morrone field in Block 9/23b in the Northern North Sea. An extended reach well will be drilled from the Harding platform, 5 kms to the north in the same block. Morrone is expected to produce 3,000 bbls of oil per day from 3Q 2014. TAQA took over operatorship from BP in June 2013 and has 70%, along with Maersk (30%).
Nov 2013: The Government awarded a further 52 oil and gas licences, bringing the total number of offers of awards in the 27th Round to 219. The offers included licenses being awarded to 21 smaller independents that are new entrants to the market.
Nov 2013: Dana has made an oil discovery in the Moray Firth in the Lower Cretaceous Captain Sandstone reservoir at the Liberator 13/23d-8 well in Licence P1987. Dana owns 100% of the licence. This is Dana’s fifth discovery in the last 3 years.
Nov 2013: Chevron has suspended its Rosebank project in the west of Shetlands area, blaming poor economics,
Nov 2013: Production from the HP/HT Jasmine gas-condensate field in Blocks 30/6 and 30/07a has commenced; the largest field onstream in the North Sea since Buzzard in 2007. The development comprises a 24-slot WH platform with bridge-linked accommodation 9 kms west of Judy. Partners are ConocoPhillips (operator 36.5%, BG (30.5%) and Eni (33%).
Nov 2013: The Kraken oil field has been approved for development by DECC. Discovered in 1985, Kraken is a heavy oil accumulation in the North Sea with reserves estimated at 137 mm bbls. The field may come onstream in 2017 with peak production expected at 50,000 bbls per day. Partners are EnQuest (operator, 60%), Cairn (25%) and First Oil (15%).
Oct 2013: CNOOC announced that production from the Rochelle gas-condensate field in Blocks 15/26b, 15/26c and 15/27 has begun. The field has 2 subsea wells and a pipeline to the Scott platform. Initial production is from West Rochelle with East Rochelle on-line soon. Nexen, owned by CNOOC, is operator with 41% with Endeavour (44%) and Premier (15%).
Oct 2013: The number of wells drilled fell in the third quarter. Only 11 exploration and appraisal wells were started, 35% lower than the same period in 2012. The pick-up in production forecast for 2014 is also expected to be delayed. However, a recovery in drilling in the fourth quarter is likely since some of the current fall is due to rig availability issues.
Oct 2013: The UK is unlikely to expand shale gas production quickly. It has a small onshore oil and gas industry, no private ownership of mineral rights, high population density, strict environmental regulations and local opposition. Just a few companies have expressed interest and fears that fracking will cause damage from earthquakes and to ground waters deter investors.
Sep 2013: Gas output from the Rhum field in the Central North Sea, owned by BP and the NIOC, has been suspended since 2010 due to sanctions against Iran but negotiations are underway to bring it back into production. Discovered in 1977 and onstream in 2005, the field lies 390km northeast of Aberdeen in 109m of water. It has a high-pressure, high temperature reservoir.
Sep 2013: Statoil is on track with the Mariner field project, the largest offshore development in the UK in a decade, expecting to start production in 2017 with a rate of 55,000 bbls of oil per day over the plateau period to 2020. The field will be developed with a 50 slot steel platform and an FSU of 850,000 bbls capacity. A jack-up rig will be used to assist drilling for the first 5 years.
Aug 2013: The Tolmount field has been reported to be one of the largest gas finds in the Southern North Sea for a decade after an appraisal well was completed. Tolmount lies near gas infrastructure 50 kms off the coast, northeast of Dimlington in block 42/28d. EON is operator with 50% along with Dana Petroleum (also 50%).
Jul 2013: Conoco has encountered gas in the 23/22b-6Z exploration well (Lacewing Prospect) on the eastern margins of the Central North Sea at a total depth of 4,380m. Post well evaluation work will ascertain whether commerciality can be established. The partners in the block Conoco (47.3%, operator), Premier (20.2%) and BG (32.5%). The well was a HP/HT Triassic test.
Jul 2013: DONG Energy has announced the results from two exploration wells that were drilled in the West of Shetlands at the end of 2012 and early 2013. Cragganmore, in 673m of water, is a gas discovery and Glenrothes, in 1,169m, was dry. DONG is operator with 40% along with Dana Petroleum (30%) and GDF SUEZ (30%).
Jul 2013: Production from the Huntington oil field is increasing as commissioning of the gas facilities on the FPSO proceeds. Production levels are 24,000 bbls per day of oil and 0.2 bcm per year of gas. With full gas compression capability levels will be ramped up to 30,000 bbls per day. The partners are EON (25%, operator), Premier (40%), Noreco (20%) and Iona Energy (15%).
May 2013: Companies including Cuadrilla Resources, IGas, Celtic, Dart Energy, Egdon Resources, Third Energy, Reach, Europa, Aurora and Rathlin plan to drill 20 to 40 exploration wells over the next 3 years to test the production potential of shale gas resources. Some of these will be hydraulically fractured. A year-long ban on drilling has been lifted after the government imposed more stringent rules on fracking to reduce any risk of earthquakes.
Apr 2013: Apache announced that its Tonto oil field commenced production from one well, drilled deviated from the Forties Bravo platform, at an initial rate of 10,346 bbls of oil per day. Apache holds 100%. Drilling of another development well is planned by year-end 2013. Tonto follows Maule and Bacchus as the 3rd oil field brought online by Apache in the Forties area within the last 3 years.
Apr 2013: TAQA’s development plan for the Cladhan field in blocks 210/29a and 210/30a of the northern North Sea has been approved. The first phase will consist of two producer wells and one injection well tied back to the Tern Alpha platform with first oil expected in 2015. Assuming current asset deals occur the TAQA will own 52.7%, Sterling 13.8% and Wintershall 33.5%.
Jan 2013: The UK government expects around 28 new oil and gas fields on the Continental Shelf to get approval in 2013. In 2012, 29 projects were approved with capital expenditure of US$17.3 bn. In 2011 eighteen projects with a total value of US$20.5 bn were approved. The level of investment in projects in 2011 was over 10 times the amount of 2009. A total of 167 new licences to explore were awarded to 13 operators in the 27th licensing round covering 330 blocks.
Dec 2012: Statoil is to invest more than US$7 bn to develop the heavy oil Mariner field; the largest UK offshore development in more than a decade. It is estimated that the field will produce for 30 years from 2017 and will reach a plateau of 55,000 barrels a day. Reserves are estimated to be more than 250 mm bbls. Statoil expects to make a final investment decision on the Bressay heavy oil field in 2013.
Oct 2012: The government has approved a project to extend the life of 6 North Sea fields and develop two more. The MonArb Area Redevelopment Project will involve US$2.56 bn of investment by Talisman, with first production expected in 2016. The project will lead to a further 100 mm bbls of oil equivalent being extracted from the existing Montrose, Arbroath, Brechin, Arkwright, Carnoustie and Wood fields plus the undeveloped Cayley and Shaw fields.
Oct 2012: BP has produced first gas from the Devenick field, discovered in 1983 in the central North Sea. It is expected to reach peak daily output of around 1 bcm per year in 2013. Advances in subsea technology has made development economic. The project had seen investment of around $806 mm with gas and condensate tied into Marathon’s East Brae platform 34 kms away.
May 2012: The government received a record number of applications for its 27th licensing round, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced. A total of 224 applications were submitted covering 418 blocks of the UKCS. This is the largest number since offshore licensing began in 1964 and is 37 more than the previous high total in the 26th licensing round.
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