Serica in talks over Columbus offtake route

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Serica Energy is close to completing pre-development engineering studies and export route negotiations for its Columbus gas field in the UK central North Sea.

The field, in block 23/16f, contains condensate-rich gas and requires processing prior to entering a gas transportation system.

Columbus extends to the south into BG-operated block 23/21, which includes the producing Lomond field. Serica has cooperated with BG (also a partner in Columbus) on FEED studies for a bridge-linked platform.

This would be installed next to the Lomond platform and receive production from Columbus and other nearby fields for processing on the Lomond platform, followed by transportation to the UK mainland via the CATS and Forties offshore pipeline systems.

Terms acceptable to all parties have yet to be agreed. In the meantime, Serica is evaluating alternative export routes for Columbus with its partners in block 23/16f and other operators in the area.

The company also points out that the recent increased taxes on UK offshore production may impact its development plans.

Elsewhere in the central sector, Serica has a 30% stake in block 15/21g, which includes the Spaniards oil prospect. This may be a significant extension to a Jurassic oil discovery well in block 15/21a, which flowed 2,660 b/d of 25° API oil from a Jurassic-age Upper Claymore sand.

Spaniards is a stratigraphic trap. According to Serica, pressure interpretation suggests the oil column may extend down-dip into block 15/21g, operated by DEO Petroleum. The 15/21a and 15/21g partnerships are considering drilling a joint well to test the prospect.

In the UK northern North Sea, Serica has a 100% interest in part-blocks 210/19a and 210/20a, adjacent to the Otter oilfield. Four prospects have been identified over the acreage at Jurassic Brent Group and “Home Sand” levels.

Two of the Brent Group prospects are down-faulted traps, which Serica says are emerging as a successful play in this region. Serica is evaluating seismic data with a view to delineating the prospects and firming up a drilling program.


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