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The Catcher Area Field Development involves combined development of the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields located on Blocks 28/9a and 28/10c of production license P140 in the UK Central North Sea.
Premier Oil operates the field while also holding a 50% stake, while the other partners include Cairn Energy and MOL Group with stakes of 30% and 20% respectively. Premier initially acquired its interest in the area with the acquisition of Oilexco in 2009 and became operator with after acquiring EnCore Oil in 2012.
The project’s development concept was agreed between the partners in December 2012, with the field development plan (FDP) submitted to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change in late-2013 and approval received in June 2014.
The field is expected to produce its first oil in mid-2017 and have a lifespan of more than ten years. Expenditure is expected to reach $2.2bn.
Discovery, geology and reserves of Catcher
Solan oil field lies in block 205/26a of production license P164 located in the UK North Sea.
Catcher was discovered in August 2010, followed by Varadero in January 2011 and Burgman in March 2011. Two additional fields Carnaby and Bonneville were discovered in June 2012 and April 2013 respectively.
The latter two fields are also expected to be tied back to the Catcher field development in the future. Bonneville is expected to hold 30 million barrels of oil, while Carnaby is estimated to hold 28 million barrels.
Hydrocarbons in the area are located within Tay and Cromarty sands of Late Palaeocene / early Eocene turbidite ages.
The first three fields are estimated to hold 96 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) and are expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) at peak, accounting for approximately 6% of the overall production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
UK Catcher field development details
The development of three fields involves drilling 22 subsea wells, comprising 14 production wells and eight water injection wells. All wells will be tied back to a leased floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel having a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and a storage capacity of 650,000 barrels (bbl).
A riser system will be provided for each well to allow production from the field and enable subsea tie-back.
Six drill centre templates (DCT) weighing 100t each with piping manifolds will be laid at the site to enable drilling of the wells and eliminate the need for rig moves for each cluster of wells.
Produced oil will be offloaded from the FPSO by tankers, while gas will be exported through the existing SEGAL facilities.
Contractors involved with new North Sea oil site
BW Offshore will deliver the Catcher FPSO and mooring system, and install and operate the unit throughout the charter period of seven years, which is extendable up to 18 years. The $2.3bn contract also includes the front end engineering (FEED) study for the project.
BW Offshore further subcontracted IHI Corporation of Japan to construct the hull of the FPSO, equipped with accommodation facilities and a helideck. The hull will be constructed at its Aichi Works facility in Japan.
The subcontract to carry out the engineering services for the FPSO’s topsides modules weighing approximately 7,800t was awarded to Aibel of Singapore.
The engineering, procurement, installation, and commissioning (EPIC) contract for the subsea facilities, worth more than $460m, was awarded to Subsea7. The contract entails three pipeline bundles incorporating its patented Butting Bimetal (BuBi) mechanically lined pipe, a riser system for the FPSO unit, and installation of a 10in and 60km gas export / import pipeline.
The £10m ($16.967m approximately) contract for the design and construction of the six DCTs has been awarded to Aquaterra Energy. Xodus Group was awarded the £1.3m ($2.205m approximately) contract to assist in the subsea FEED study.
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