UK approves $4.5-billion Culzean development in North Sea

The UK Oil & Gas Authority has greenlighted development of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) Culzean field in the central North Sea.

Operator Maersk Oil and coventurers JX Nippon and BP PLC are investing $4.5 billion in the development, which Maersk notes “has benefited from the HPHT Cluster Area Allowance introduced by the UK government as part of the 2015 budget.”

The allowance supports the development of HPHT projects—which tend to have considerably higher capital costs—and encourages exploration and appraisal activity in the surrounding area, or “cluster,” Maersk says.

The gas-condensate field, discovered in 2008 (OGJ Online, Jan. 30, 2009), has resources estimated at 250-300 million boe. Production is expected to start in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years, plateauing at 60,000-90,000 boe/d.

The partners will develop Culzean with a standalone facility, which will be a complex of bridge-linked platforms comprising a 12-slot wellhead platform, a central processing facility, and utilities-living quarters (OGJ Online, Nov. 20, 2014). Two front-end engineering and design contracts were let in 2014.

Maersk last week let a contract to Tenaris for casing and related services for the project (OGJ Online, Aug. 25, 2015).

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