North Sea Catcher studies move forward

Offshore staff

LONDON – Premier Oil and its partners have agreed on a development concept for the Catcher project in the UK central North Sea.

Tender processes are under way with FPSO providers and for the subsea facilities front-end engineering and design. Following completion of the project design phase this summer, the partnership expects to move to formal sanction.

Elsewhere in the UK sector, development drilling is expected to start in April on the Premier-operated Solan project west of Shetland. First oil is scheduled for late 2014.

As for the E.ON Ruhrgas-operated Huntington development in the central North Sea, all of the five risers have been installed following connection of the final riser earlier this week. System testing has started, and first oil is expected to flow before end-March, and build to 25,000 b/d following a ramp-up period.

In the North Falkland offshore basin, following formal transfer of operatorship from Rockhopper to Premier, a Falkland Islands Sea Lion project team has been assembled.

Detailed planning continues for the development drilling and production facilities design and sourcing of services has started. HSE and environmental management plans will be established to safeguard the development and operations phases, with first oil from the Sea Lion field targeted by end-2017. 

Turning to exploration, Premier will shortly drill its first high-pressure/high-temperature well in the UK North Sea on the Lacewing prospect, and will participate in the Luno II well on the western margin of the Utsira High offshore Norway.

The company says it is working on maturing prospects for potential play-opening wells next year offshore Norway, Kenya, and the Falklands. Subject to the outcome of interpretation of 3D seismic data, its first exploration well in Kenya could spud this fall.

In the Southeast Asia region, Premier has drawn up a four-well high impact program using the Ocean General rig. This starts with the high-risk Ca Voi well offshore East Vietnam, followed by wells on the Silver Sillago (Ca Duc) prospect in block 07/03 and the Kuda and Singa Laut prospects on the Tuna block off Indonesia.


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