Premier assesses Balmoral tiebacks

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Premier Oil expects development drilling to start next month on the Huntington field in the UK central North Sea.

Upgrade work on the FPSO has started at the yard in Norway. The vessel is due to arrive on location this summer or early fall. First oil should result early in 2012.

Last year, Premier commissioned reservoir modeling and pre-development engineering conceptual studies for two further UK fields inherited following its acquisition of Oilexco.

Screening suggests Caledonia North could be developed economically via a subsea tieback to the Premier-operated Balmoral floating production vessel, and this program could be enhanced by the nearby Bluebell prospect, depending on the results of exploration drilling later this year.

Studies for Ptarmigan (also based on a tieback to Balmoral FPV) are under evaluation.

Elsewhere in the UK sector, Premier has a conditional agreement to take a 60% interest from Chrysaor in the Solan field development in west of Shetland block 205/26a, south of BP’s Schiehallion field. The partners anticipate government sanction for the project around mid-year.

Offshore Norway, Premier is involved in two pre-development projects in the North Sea: Frøy (50%) and Bream (20%).

On Frøy, the company and its partner Det norske oljeselskap continue to work on a stand-alone development concept. They have evaluated an improved drainage strategy with use of water and gas injection, and assessed three third-party fields as potential tiebacks. Project sanction could be achieved later this year.

BG Group has shortlisted a contractor and vessel for an FPSO for the Bream field, and continues studies of subsea wells. Again, a project sanction decision should be taken during 2Q 2011.

Premier also has 15% of the recent Blåbaer discovery, where hydrocarbons were encountered in the Lower Jurassic Cook formation. The field could be tied into BG’s nearby Jordbaer development.


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