The Orlando oil field is located in the UKCS block 3/3b in the northern North Sea.
The Orlando oil field will be tied back to the Ninian Pipeline System (NPS) located in Shetland. Image courtesy of Nilfanion (created using Ordnance Survey data).
The oil processed at the Orlando field will be exported to the Sullom Voe oil terminal. Image courtesy of Mike Pennington.

Orlando oil field

The Orlando offshore oil field is located in the UK Continental Shelf’s (UKCS) 3/3b block, on the west flank of the Viking Graben area within the UK P1606 seaward production licence, at a water depth of 142m. The field is situated 11km north-east of the Ninian Central Platform in the North Sea.

Iona Energy holds 75% working interest and operates the field, while the remaining 25% interest is held by Volantis Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Petroleum.

Orlando oil field discovery and development

Spread over 2.5km², the Orlando oil field was discovered by Chevron UK in 1989 and was successfully appraised with the well 3/3b-11 in the same year. Another appraisal well, known as 3/3b-13, was spudded by MPX Resources using WilHunter semi-sub drilling in November 2011. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 14,245ft and was then suspended for conversion into a producer.

“The field will be developed as a tieback to the existing Ninian Central platform operated by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR).”

MPX Resources and Sorgenia had 30% and 35% interest respectively in the field, but sold the same to Iona Energy in June 2012 making it the major interest holder and operator of the field.

In April 2013, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) approved the Orlando oil field development plan (FDP) submitted by Iona Energy. The field will be developed as a tieback to the existing Ninian Central platform operated by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR).

Orlando field reserves and production

The Orlando oil field was estimated to contain 15.4 million barrels of oil and condensates in proved and probable reserves as of December 2012, out of which 11.5 million barrels were attributable to Iona Energy.

First oil from the field is expected to be produced in the fourth quarter of 2015. The initial production is expected to be approximately 11,000 barrels per day (bpd) while the peak production capacity will be 14,000bpd. The field is expected to remain in production until 2032.


The Orlando field development includes two production wells and a subsea manifold tied back to the Ninian Central Platform. The first production well will be a sub-horizontal well targeting the middle Jurassic Tarbert formation. The second well targeting Ness formation is expected to commence production by the end of 2016.

BP’s Quad 204 Project involves the redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, located west of the Shetland Islands.

The subsea tieback infrastructure will comprise a 10.8km long and 8in diameter production pipeline buried beneath the seabed, a Pipeline End Manifold (PLEM) and a Subsea Isolation Valve (SSIV). It will also include an umbilical for power, controls and chemical injection.

The oil processed at the field will be exported through the Ninian Pipeline System (NPS) to the Sullom Voe oil terminal located on the Shetland Islands.

Contractors involved

KW Subsea was awarded the conceptual design and front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for the subsea tie back of Orlando oil to the Ninian Central platform in 2012.

GE Oil & Gas was awarded the project management and engineering contract for the construction of two production subsea trees and supply of other subsea equipment for the Orlando field development in 2012. Fugro undertook geophysical, geotechnical and environmental surveys for the project.

NRI Energy Technology