LONDON – Premier Oil’s UK offshore production surpassed 40,000 boe/d during 4Q 2016.
In the UK central North Sea, the Huntington field averaged 10,800 boe/d last year, above expectations, due to high uptime and strong reservoir performance. With further well management, Premier aims to maintain this level during 2017.
Production from the Total-operated Elgin-Franklin field, in which the company is a partner, also rose as a result of infill drilling, and more infill wells are planned this year.
This spring Premier will switch to not normally manned operation of the Babbage field in the southern gas basin to reduce opex for the remainder of the field’s life, and also plans well interventions to maintain production levels.
Solan’s performance fell below expectations due to a later than anticipated start-up and poorer than expected reservoir performance which is limiting water injection and P2 production rates.
Actions to address this are under way, and including short-term increases in water injection pump capacity and other possible modifications later in the year.
Production from Solan will likely stabilize at 10-13,000 boe/d this year with any material uplift from remedial action not expected before 2018. Otherwise production efficiency of the facilities has been good and six oil tanker offloadings have been successfully completed.
In the central North Sea, Premier is targeting first oil from the Catcher project later this year and total capex of $1.6 billion, 29% lower than the sanctioned estimate.
Eight development wells have now been completed. Most recently, the second well on the Varadero template (VP3) was completed in December and, while constrained by surface equipment on the rig, achieved 8,000 boe/d on clean up.
Due to a combination of strong well results and well placement optimization, Premier has reduced the well count for the base plan to 20 wells.
The only subsea campaigns remaining, and due to start in June, are the tie-in of the new wells drilled and supporting hookup of the FPSO, which is due to sail from Singapore around mid-year.
In the southern North Sea, Premier expects the Tolmount project to benefit from a higher gas price. Development planning is focused on a standalone normally unattended platform and a new gas export pipeline to shore, with a formal approval process to follow during the current quarter.
Thereafter, Premier expects to award front-end engineering and design (FEED) with the FEED program starting shortly afterwards.