First oil from the B8 field was produced in October 2015. Credit: Grupa Lotos S.A.
A contract to upgrade the LOTOS Petrobaltic platform was awarded in October 2014. Credit: Mars Shipyards & Offshore.
The upgrades to the drilling rig were completed in May 2015. Credit: Mars Shipyards & Offshore.

The B8 offshore oil field is located in the Polish economic zone of the Baltic Sea, approximately 70km north of Jastarnia. LOTOS Petrobaltic (LPB) fully owns and operates the oilfield.

The B8 field is estimated to contain 3.5 million tonnes of crude oil reserves. It is expected to produce 250,000t of crude oil a year. The first production from the field was achieved in October 2015 while commercial production is scheduled to begin in mid-2016.

The B8 field is expected to produce at a rate of 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day. It will become the third-largest oil production facility in Poland, when fully operational.

B8 oil field geology and discovery

The field was discovered in 1983 by drilling the B8-1 well, which discovered crude oil in Middle Cambrian sandstones.

Financing for the B8 oil field development

LPB, Polish Investments for Development (PIR), Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Bank Pekao agreed to finance the B8 oil field development in August 2014. The estimated investment on the project is zl1.8bn (approximately $490m), of which PIR contributed zl430m ($116.43m), while Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Bank Pekao provided zl660m ($178.7m).

B8 oil field development details

The development plan for the field involves the drilling of development wells and water injection wells and installation of subsea producing infrastructure. The produced crude oil is transported through a 35km-long undersea pipeline to the Baltic Beta floating platform located at the B3 field, which is in production. The crude oil will then be processed by the Lotos oil refinery located in Gdansk.

A total of ten wells, comprising six production and four injection boreholes, all equipped with wellheads, were drilled in 2014. The rig’s next assignment is to drill the B8-Z6 water injection well, the last one on the B8 field. The exploration and production licence of the field is valid until 2031.

Drilling platform for the B8 field

The drilling platform for the project is the LOTOS Petrobaltic drilling rig, upgraded from a jack-up rig earlier owned by Transocean Offshore Gulf of Guinea. The rig was built in 1989 by Far East Levingston at the Singapore shipyard and was earlier used by Transocean Offshore Gulf of Guinea in western African seas. The Industrial Development Agency and Nordea Bank Polska financed the rig purchase.

The drilling rig was earlier proposed to be converted into a production platform. The conversion plan was, however, rejected in February 2015 due to the poor global oil market and to improve the project’s commercial viability.

The rig was instead upgraded, which included inspection of the hull, repairs of legs and tanks, an inspection of the pipelines and renewal of the shift rig system, repair and strengthening of the spud can, and replacement and painting of the plating and ballast tanks. Maintenance, cleaning and replacement of the travel system of the rig were also performed and the overall upgrade work was completed in May 2015.

The towing of the rig from the Nauta shipyard in Gdynia to the field site was completed in May 2015. The towing operation, including positioning and preloading, ballasting and stabilising of the rig at the stopover point, was completed in 48h. The rig is capable of drilling at water depths of up to 120m.

Contractors involved

In October 2014, EPG, Nauta and Crist from MARS Shipyards & Offshore group were awarded the contract to convert the Petrobaltic rig from a drilling rig into a production unit.

The offshore rig received a classification certificate confirming its proper technical condition after the overhaul. The certification process was supervised by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

The original field development study on the B8 oil field was completed by EPConsult Energies in 2009, who was further re-engaged to update the original reservoir simulation model.