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Fairfield agrees sale of Staffa block to Iona

Fairfield agrees sale of Staffa block to Iona
FAIRFIELD Energy, of Aberdeen, said yesterday it was selling the UK North Sea block containing the dormant Staffa field.

FAIRFIELD Energy, of Aberdeen, said yesterday it was selling the UK North Sea block containing the dormant Staffa field.

Canadian company Iona Energy is acquiring block 3/8d for an undisclosed sum.

Staffa, near the Ninian Central platform, produced at rates of 5,800-10,000 barrels of oil per day between 1992 and 1994 before ceasing production prematurely after pipeline blockages.

Iona said that it was acquiring full rights to an advanced development plan and associated equipment, including the engineering design, critical engineering facilities such as a subsea production tree, and an established pipeline survey route.

Iona’s chief of business development, Robin Baxter, said: “The acquisition of the Staffa discovery will uniquely offer Iona opportunity to progress to development a 100% operated project close to our 35% interest in the Orlando project. This allows Iona to explore synergies associated with operations, commerce and value.

“We are excited to be working toward our operatorship of the project as soon as possible.”

Staffa lies south of the Orlando oil discovery in block 3/3b.

Iona said the semisubmersible rig WilHunter had been contracted and was waiting for a weather window to move to the Orlando well within 72 hours.

“The well is expected to take 35 days to drill and an additional four or five days to conduct an extensive downhole fluid-sampling programme, to evaluate the bore, and to suspend the well for later re-entry and completion as a development production well,” the company added.

Fairfield said yesterday’s move would allow it to continue to focus on an aggressive development prog-ramme for its core assets.

These include the Clipper South development, where the jacket and topsides have recently been successfully installed; Dunlin, where production is expected to increase to 10,000 barrels of oil per day in the first half of next year, and Darwin, where exploration/appraisal drilling is planned for next year.

Fairfield chief executive Chris Wright said: “We are delighted to have signed a letter of intent with Iona Energy for the divestment of the Staffa field.

“This is another important step towards monetising our non-core assets, and comes at an active time for Fairfield as we remain fully focused on creating further value from our balanced portfolio of production, development and appraisal assets.”

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