1. DNO Heather has won approval with partners Challenger Minerals, a Global Santa Fe subsidiary, and Palace Exploration, to develop the newly-named UK Broom oil field as a subsea tieback to the Heather field in Northern North Sea blocks 2/05 and 04.
Broom comprises the previously drilled Heather North Terrace and West Heather structures. Three wells will be re-completed on West Heather for the first phase of Broom with first oil planned mid 2004. Two down-flank water injector wells will be drilled later for reservoir pressure support, DNO said.
They will be tied back 4.3 miles (7 km) to the Heather platform and the North Terrace structure will be added later once capacity is available in Broom subsea infrastructure. Gross proved plus probable reserves are estimated at 46 million bbl of oil, with 25.3 million bbl net to Norwegian-based DNO.
2. Venture Production has another potential North Sea field development after successfully testing the Annabel accumulation with the 48/10a-12 well at more than 50 MMcf/d of gas. Venture said it has the potential to deliver first gas towards the end of 2004.
The discovery was drilled with the Noble Ronald Hoope jackup to a depth of 11,752 ft (3,582 m) and logged a 558 ft (170 m) gas column with net pay of 200 ft (60.97 m) with no water contact. Venture suggests tying the discovery back to its operated Audrey field infrastructure, 8.12 miles (13 km) south, acquired from Phillips Petroleum, and from there via the LOGGS pipeline system to the Theddlethorpe gas terminal. Venture was also planning appraisal of Annie and Agatha prospects towards the year end.
3. BP declared a new 30 million bbl oil discovery called Farragon in the Central North Sea in September after a well drilled with the Ocean Nomad semisubmersible. The 16/28-17 discovery well encountered a 131 ft (40 m) oil column in a Palaeocene formation near BP's producing Andrew field. The well was spudded on March 21st and the discovery was made on April 17th, but was kept tight since.
Tim Summers, BP's mature business unit leader in the North Sea said the find would prolong the use of existing infrastructure, and extend the life of the North Sea with brownfield development.
Farragon, which BP said will "probably" be developed over the Andrew platform, was drilled under a farm-in financed by Eni and EnCana and Eni managed the drilling program.
4. Talisman's belief in the upside within its UK North Sea assets has been borne out by the discovery of a new oil reservoir near its operated Tartan field with the 15/16a Tartan North Terrace B well.
Drilling with the Ocean Princess semisubmersible, Talisman found a 302 ft (92 m) oil column in Jurassic aged Piper sandstone. On test it flowed at 8,100 b/d of oil on a 48/64-inch choke with 1,535 psi of tubing head pressure which was constrained by surface test equipment, with average porosity of 14%. Full production from the discovery is expected during the second half of next year after the hole was completed as a subsea production well which is to be tied back to the Tartan platform.
5. Block 14/29b in the Outer Moray Firth has been released to Wimbledon Oil and Gas as an additional award after the UK's 21st Licensing Round as a new promote license. The UK Department of Trade and Industry was also considering including adjacent Block 14/28a within an existing license covering 14/27a to Wimbledon which specializes in generating exploration plays and prospects. It comes after another 21st round applicant, Walter Oil and Gas, indicated it wanted only the northern parts of 28a and 29b, leaving southern sections of each block available to Wimbledon.
6. Subsea 7 was awarded the installation of new pipelines for development of the Southern North Sea Rose gas field by operator Centrica Resources under a US $14.5 million EPIC contract. Subsea 7's Skandi Navica vessel will install a 5.7 mile (9.1 km) 10-in. gas export pipeline to carry production from the single well subsea development in UK Block 47/15b to the BP-operated Amethyst A2D platform which was scheduled for completion by last month (October). Rose, with reserves of 88 Bcf, is due onstream next year after Centrica, which already had 40% in the property, bought the remaining 60% equity from BG in December 2002.
7. Canadian Natural Resources spudded an exploration well with Transocean's John Shaw semi-submersible on the Polkerris prospect in the French Finistere-Atlantique license area in the South Western Approaches. The licence was previously held by Elf and six dry wells have previously been drilled there since 1976. The well was completed by CNR without comment mid September within the 36-day drilling schedule.
8. Recoverable reserves in Statoil's Glitne development in the North Sea have been upgraded 50% from the estimate in the original plan for development and operation (PDO).
New calculations suggests total recovery could be 37 million bbl, 12 million up from the 25 million bbl estimated when the PDO for the field was approved. Better recovery, lower than expected water cut and better pressure support were cited by Statoil as reasons for the reserves upgrade. Four original production wells are expected to produce another 6 million bbl of oil on top of original estimates.
Consequently field production will likely be doubled, extending field life towards the end of 2005.
9. New reserves have been added to the Kristin field area with completion of the 6406/1-2 well drilled by Agip into a new gas and condensate discovery in Norwegian license 256.
The well, drilled with the Deepsea Bergen semisubmersible operating in a water depth of 1,256 ft (383 m) was drilled into a Jurassic structure immediately west of Kristin where a Cretaceous gas condensate accumulation was proven but not production test. Since then the well has been plugged and abandoned and the size of the find is being evaluated.
10. Esso Norway has revealed a find with its exploration well in the Utsira High area offshore Norway which adds to reserves in the Ringhorne field.After completion of the 25/8/C-20 development well in the 027 license area, Norway's Petroleum Directorate said oil was found in an Early Tertiary formation after drilling to 6,602 ft (2, 013 m). Between 38 and 44 million bbl (5-7 million cu m) of recoverable oil could be contained within the discovery, the NPD estimated. The well was drilled from the Ringhorne platform in a water depth of 426 ft (130 m).
11. A senior Norsk Hydro executive predicted its 700 million bbl Grane oil development would come onstream in Block 25/11 on time and on budget and would reach plateau production of 214,000 b/d of oil during the first quarter of 2004. Costing US $2.26 billion, Torgeir Kydland said Grane was the last major oil development in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. First oil was due last month (October) and 35 wells, including 27 producers, are being drilled into the field which will export oil via a 132-mile (212-km) pipeline to the Sture oil terminal north of Bergen from a fixed platform, in a water depth of 420 ft (128 m).
12. Halliburton Energy Services has won a deal to provide under-balanced drilling operations on the Gullfaks field - the first time the technology has been deployed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Using under-balanced techniques, with lower mud weights to prevent formation damage, oil recovery will be improved said Johan Eck-Olsen, manager for the under-balanced project on Gullfaks, which is operated by Statoil. He said, "This contract is considered a milestone, since this is the first operation that will be performed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf by use of this technology. This is an important project for Statoil and a successful completion should open up more opportunities on the Norwegian Shelf since several fields and reservoirs would benefit from using this kind of technology."
13. Line pipe has been ordered by Statoil for its Snøhvit gas and LNG project in the Barents Sea. Mitsui and Sumitomo have been contracted to supply 88. 8 miles (143 km) of 28-in. pipe for Snøhvit under a US $46.6 million deal. Mitsui/Sumitomo have also won a further $6.17 million contract to deliver 23.6 miles (38 km) of 20-in. line pipe for Statoil's Visund platform to the Kvitebjorn field, which exports to the Kollsnes gas plant near Bergen.
14. Four operators have agree terms to build a new gas pipeline linking up the Danish Tyra field with the Dutch gas grid. A.P. Møller, Mærsk, Shell, Texaco and DONG, Denmark Oil and Gas agreed to construct a new 67-mile (100-km) 26-in. pipeline from the Tyra field, passing through Danish, German and Dutch waters to Den Helder where it will connect via the NOGAT line into the Dutch gas grid. Maersk will construct and operate the line, due to become operational by late 2004, costing an estimated US $150 million. DONG will have a 50% share, Shell 23%, Maersk 19.5% and Texaco 7.5%. All will have capacity rights related to their stake.
15. Production has started from the Nini and Cecilie fields in the Danish sector of the North Sea via satellite wellhead platforms tied back to the Siri field in a US $425 million project. Together the fields are expected to produce 25,000 b/d of oil this year, increasing to 30,000 b/d next year. Partners are DONG, Denerco, and RWE.