LONDON – A recent update from EnQuest plc revealed that although it anticipates missing its production guidance due to ongoing issues with the Brent pipeline system, the company reached a project milestone and expects another in the short term.
First oil has been achieved from the Scolty/Crathes light oil development in the central North Sea ahead of schedule and under budget, just about one year after approval of the project’s field development plan (FDP) and project sanction, EnQuest said. Unit operating costs are expected to be below $15/bbl in the initial peak volume years and production is anticipated to continue until 2025.
The company also noted that this was the only offshore pure-oil FDP approved in the UK North Sea in 2015.
Located about 160 km (99 mi) northeast of Aberdeen, Scolty and Crathes are estimated to contain up to 15 MMbbl of gross oil technical reserves.
EnQuest holds a 50% interest, with partner MOL Growest Ltd. (II) holding 50%.
Scolty was discovered in 2007 by Lundin and Crathes in 2011 by EnQuest. The development plan consists of two single horizontal wells tied back via subsea pipeline 25 km (16 mi) in a so-called “daisy chain” fashion to the Kittiwake platform in the Greater Kittiwake Area. Oil from Scolty and Crathes will be exported via the Forties pipeline system.
EnQuest CEO Amjad Bseisu said: “The realization of the potential of these ‘small pools’ has been enabled by cost efficiency, technology application, and solid delivery.”
The company says that Scolty/Crathes represents a key component in its hub model for Kittiwake, also extending the economic life of the Greater Kittiwake Area itself, well into the next decade.
EnQuest also holds a 50% interest in the Greater Kittiwake Area.
Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority UK, said: “The safe and successful first oil milestone from Scolty and Crathes is testament to EnQuest and MOL’s efforts, working at pace and in excellent collaboration with the service sector to create efficiencies and value. This has unlocked the economic recovery of a small pools development and sustains the wider Greater Kittiwake Area and infrastructure. It embodies good asset stewardship which is crucial to achieving MER [maximizing economic recovery] UK.”
In addition, EnQuest affirmed that the Kraken development project remains on course to deliver first oil in 1H 2017 and said it expects sailaway for the field’s FPSO Armada Kraken to occur in the coming days.
The journey from its deepwater anchorage off the coast of Singapore for the North Sea should be complete around mid-January 2017, the company said.
Meanwhile, drilling operations at the development’s drill center two are progressing, following completion of drill center one. There are two fields in the Kraken heavy-oil field development, located in block 9/2b in the UK North Sea, approximately 350 km (218 mi) northeast of Aberdeen.
EnQuest said it has been informed that the third-party maintenance shutdown of the Brent pipeline system (BPS) would be longer than previously anticipated, fully shutting down the Thistle and Dons fields during that time. Shutdown is slated to begin this week and continue for about three weeks.
Taking into account the impact of the BPS’ extended shutdown, EnQuest said it would anticipate average daily full-year 2016 production to be around the average daily production level delivered to the end of October, of 40,857 boe/d. This level would be below its prior guidance of between 42,000 and 44,000 boe/d.
Production at the end of the year is expected to benefit from the Scolty/Crathes development coming onstream and from the new production well, K7, coming online at the UK central North Sea’s Alma/Galia development.