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The Golden Eagle Area Development (GEAD) in the UK North Sea has started oil production.

The GEAD includes development of the Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields, located in blocks 20/1S, 20/1N and 14/26a of the North Sea, about 70km north-east of Aberdeen. Water depths in the region range from 89m to 139m.

Separate production and wellhead platforms, as well as two subsea production systems, will be developed as part of the project, which is expected to produce about 70,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2015.

A total of 15 production wells and six water injection wells will be drilled at the facilities.

Two Golden Eagle wells are presently producing about 18,000 bopd.

"The GEAD supported in excess of 2,500 jobs in the UK and makes a significant production contribution to the company in the near future."

Nexen Petroleum, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), operates the GEAD with a 36.54% interest, whileMaersk Oil North Sea UK holds a 31.56% stake.

Suncor Energy UK and Edinburgh Oil and Gas own 26.69% and 5.21% stakes respectively.

CNOOC CEO Li Fanrong said: "GEAD was delivered on schedule, on budget, and to world-class safety standards. The GEAD supported in excess of 2,500 jobs in the UK and makes a significant production contribution to the company in the near future."

Golden Eagle is the second largest oil discovery in the UK North Sea since Buzzard, which was discovered in 2001.

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change approved the GEAD project in October 2011.


Image: The GEAD includes development of the Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields in the UK North Sea. Photo: courtesy of Maersk Oil.

Energy