Premier progressing North Sea Tolmount gas project

Offshore staff

LONDON Premier Oil is working on development options for the Tolmount gas discovery in the UK southern North Sea and expects to take a final investment decision next year.

In April the company gained a 50% operated interest through its acquisition of E.ON UK.

The initial-phase development will target the main Tolmount structure. Further upside could come from the subsequent development of Tolmount East, with potential for further gas production through the Tolmount infrastructure from other nearby Premier and third-party discoveries/prospects.

This year’s transaction also gave Premier a carried 5% interest in the Ravenspurn North Deep well to be drilled later this year. If successful, it could open a substantial new tight gas play in the southern gas basin that Premier might look to build on from its existing portfolio.

A positive well outcome could also push back the abandonment date of the Ravenspurn North facilities.

Additionally, Premier acquired 10 greenfield and six near-field exploration licenses, close to either the Babbage or Tolmount areas.

Production from the operated Babbage field is exceeding expectations due to continued high demand for the field’s gas coupled with high uptime at the onshore facility.

Plans are under way to transform the Babbage platform to unmanned status, which should result in considerably lower operating costs.

Elsewhere in the UK North Sea, the company has relinquished six exploration licenses and plans to divest a further eight, saving around $2 million/yr in license costs.

West of Shetland, oil production from the company’s Solan field, which came onstream in April, restarted on June 22 and the first tanker offload from the subsea oil storage tank was completed at the end of July with a cargo size of more than 250,000 bbl of oil.

Drilling of the second production well has been completed and the well was tied into the subsea facilities earlier this month using a dive support vessel.

It should start production today, helping Solan attain plateau rates of 20-25,000 boe/d within the next few days.


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