North Sea Erskine back online following pipeline clearance

Offshore staff

LONDONSerica Energy plc says oil and gas production has re-started from the Erskine field in the UK central North Sea, following clearance of a pipeline blockage and the completion of scheduled maintenance works on the Lomond platform.

The blockage occurred earlier this year in the Lomond to Everest condensate export line when a pig became lodged in the pipeline due to wax build-up.

Clearance procedures included pressure pulsing using diesel from both ends of the pipeline and more recently injection of a wax solvent.

The field then remained shut-in to accommodate a planned two-month maintenance program on the Lomond platform: this began in late May to coincide with the planned one-month maintenance shutdown of the CATS gas export and processing facilities through which Erskine’s gas is exported.

Once the maintenance work was finished, condensate flow from the Lomond field started in mid-July in order to flush the export line, with higher volume Erskine production initiated earlier this week.

Following final clean-up next week, production from Erskine should build rapidly to the fully unconstrained levels achieved prior to the shutdown.

The partners have agreed to step up regular pigging and wax inhibitor injection to prevent a re-occurrence of wax build-up once full production has been re-established.

These scheduled pigging operations will also lead to a comprehensive survey to determine the potential to extend the infrastructure’s operating life.


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