BY JONATHAN MILNE
Discovered four decades ago, development of the Flyndre field straddling the UK/Norwegian border has been enabled by the later discovery of Cawdor, a near neighbour field, wholly on the UK side of the median line. Currently awaiting development approval, both fields are now being prepared for first oil in 2016 and 2017. Collaboration between two Maersk Oil Business Units is supporting the journey.
When development approval is granted by the UK and Norwegian authorities it will mark a critical milestone in a long journey.
“We are looking forward to progressing with the project immensely,” says Rob Peters, Development Director and the person responsible for shepherding the Flyndre and Cawdor fields to this stage.
“It’s been five years in the planning, reflecting the complexity of a project with six partners and a field that straddles both the Norwegian and UK sectors of the North Sea. I’m excited that we expect to start the development soon, which will lead to first oil in 2016.”
Maersk Oil UK is the operator of the two fields. They lie approximately 293 km south east of Aberdeen in blocks 30/13 and 30/14 of the UK North Sea (Flyndre and Cawdor) and block 1/5 of the Norwegian North Sea (Flyndre only).
The fields will be co-developed as a subsea tie-back to the Clyde platform, operated by Talisman-Sinopec, one of
Maersk’s partners in the development. Both fields will be developed with single production wells, with potential development of two further wells on Cawdor, based on field performance.
Gross production from the Flyndre well is expected to peak at around 10,000 barrels of oil per day with first oil expected in 2016. Cawdor will peak at around 5,000 barrels per day with production beginning in 2017. All told, Maersk Oil UK plans to invest approximately GBP300 million in the developments.
“Approval of the plan supports our long-term strategy for growth and our aim of doubling production in the UK North Sea. Flyndre and Cawdor demonstrate our success in maturing the development opportunities from our portfolio to eventual production,” says Martin Rune Pedersen, Managing Director.
We are maturing opportunities from our portfolio to production says Managing Director for Maersk Oil UK, Martin Rune Pedersen.
The Flyndre-Cawdor fields will be co-developed as a subsea tie-back to the Clyde platform which is operated by Talisman-Sinopec. (Photo: Talisman Sinopec Energy UK)
COLLABORATION A KEY ENABLER
The Flyndre and Cawdor project has been delivered through effective collaboration with Maersk Oil UK’s sister business unit in Norway.
While officially an independent partner, the two businesses combined to pool expertise from both sides of the North Sea.
“It wouldn’t have made sense for ourselves and Norwegian colleagues to work independently of each other – we’re part of the same team and share the same goals – so we joined forces to come up with unified commercial and technical approaches,” says Andy Kerr, Project Manager.
“That meant the UK organisation completing tasks that each partner would normally conduct separately - such as resource evaluations and audits - on behalf of both Business Units. The approach worked well and certainly made for smoother project delivery.”
The development has also relied on Maersk Oil’s application of technology. Since arriving in 2005, the UK business has used these technologies successfully to revitalise and develop a number of fields, including Dumbarton, Lochranza, Gryphon and Tullich.
Horizontal well tests on Flyndre in 2007 gave renewed confidence in flow rates, when compared to vertical well data collected before 2007. The pipe-in-pipe export pipeline solution for the development also supports the economics of the two fields.
“Work has already started on the Clyde platform, to prepare the way for the installation of a new module which will host reception facilities and utilities for the development,” says Rob Peters. “We look forward to the installation of the support structure for the module later this year, as the start of a number of significant and visible steps towards first oil.”