North Sea Columbus project closer to approval

Offshore staff

LONDON – Serica Energy has received a positive response from the UK government for its development plan for the North Sea Columbus gas/condensate field.

Subject to certain conditions (including the completion of funding arrangements for the project), the Secretary of State is prepared to issue consent.

Columbus extends from Serica-operated block 23/16f in the central North Sea southward into BG International operated block 23/21. This block includes the producing Lomond field and its associated platform.

Earlier this year all participants in the Columbus field agreed on cost and production sharing arrangements and terms to take production through the Lomond platform, and the CATS and Forties pipeline systems.

The participants (other than BG) will be responsible for drilling two production wells, installation of subsea manifolds, and laying of a pipeline to take the two-phase gas and gas/condensate stream to a new bridge-linked platform (BLP) to be constructed by BG adjacent to the Lomond platform.

Last month BG issued invitations to tender for the BLP, which it will operate. Serica will operate the Columbus field facilities with a 33.2% interest.

Field development work should be completed by end-2014 leading to startup in mid-2015 following installation of the BLP and subsequent hook-up to the Columbus subsea system.

Netherland, Sewell & Associates estimates Columbus’ proved and probable reserves at 70.6 bcf (2 bcm) of gas and 4.9 MMbbl of liquids.


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