Ithaca secures Norpipe tie-in for North Sea GSA

Offshore staff

CALGARY, CanadaIthaca Energy has provided a progress report on its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development in the UK central North Sea.

Petrofac is completing modifications to the semisubmersible platform FPF-1 at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland, with a limited number of commissioning activities to conclude prior to sail-away.

The operations team has been living on the vessel since May, marine works have finished and the engineering teams are working on handover of the various processing and utilities systems to the operations team. 

Following a planned vessel inclination test, FPF-1 will be moved to a location off the coast of Gdansk for final marine system trials prior to tow to the field.

On arrival it will be moored on location by 12 pre-installed anchor chains. The dynamic risers and umbilicals connecting the subsea infrastructure to the vessel will then be installed.

Thereafter, commissioning of the various processing and utility systems for producing hydrocarbons will be completed, with first production from the Stella field now expected in late September.

Ithaca has secured access to the Norpipe oil pipeline system, allowing oil offtake from the GSA to switch from the initial tanker export system to pipeline export during 2017.

This should reduce fixed operating costs of the GSA facilities substantially and enhance operational uptime, Ithaca added, resulting in improved reserves recovery and increasing the long-term value of the GSA as a production hub.

Norpipe runs around 350 km (217 mi) from the Ekofisk facilities in the southern Norwegian North Sea to a dedicated oil processing facility at Teesside in northeast England, with various other UK fields exporting into the system via a spurline.

Work associated with creating a connection for a 44-km (27-mi) pipeline from the FPF-1 to Norpipe was sped up due to the vacation of a conventional tie-in point on the system being vacated by a third-party field disconnecting from the pipeline. 


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