The Orca field will be developed by drilling three wells in total. The first two development wells have been drilled and completed in 2013. The third producer is currently being drilled and is expected to be completed in February next year.
“The United Kingdom is of high strategic importance for RWE Dea and Orca is the fourth of our UK projects coming on stream within only 1.5 years,” says Dirk Warzecha, Chief Operating Officer of RWE Dea AG. “We are very delighted with this success. With Orca we now have another field on stream that provides an important contribution to reach our growth targets,” Warzecha adds.
The gas is located in Carboniferous reservoir and the platform D18a-A is located in the Dutch sector, 500 metres from the UK sector and in approximately 40 metres water depth.
“We are very pleased with the early start of production. The cross-border location of the Orca field, the need to take account of two different legal systems as well as the associated agreements on field development and the distribution of resources required intense negotiations between all stakeholders involved,” says Dirk Schoene, Managing Director of RWE Dea UK. “We are very pleased that these obstacles were overcome. Thanks to constructive dialogue it was possible for the project to be brought to the field development stage faster than expected,” he adds.
Orca is one of only two known fields to straddle the median line between the Netherlands and UK (the other being Markham). The Orca development project, which is unitised between the UK and Netherlands participants, was approved by the partners in 2011.
At Orca, the produced gas, separated from free liquid in the production separator, will be measured on the platform and transported via an 8 inch subsea pipeline, routed to the D15a-A platform 20 kilometres north for further treatment. After treatment on the D15a-A platform, the produced gas will be transported via the existing main pipeline system, operated by Noordgastransport B.V., to Uithuizen in the Netherlands.
Orca spreads into blocks 44/24a, 44/29b and 44/30a in the UK, while it is in blocks D15b and D18a in the Dutch sector.