Venture says Kittiwake platform back in action

Venture Production revealed yesterday that the Kittiwake platform in the central North Sea had returned to full operations last Thursday.

The Aberdeen company said it had been running on a restricted basis while repairs were carried to part of the oil-processing system that had been isolated following the sighting of an oil sheen on Thursday, November 6.

Venture said the source of the oil sheen was traced to a fault in one of the oil-cooler systems.

At the time production was shut in, the installation was producing about 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

The company said yesterday that, taking account of latest project timings and the operational shutdown at Kittiwake, it now estimated its annual average production rate would be between 43,500 and 45,000boepd.

It previously expected this year’s average production to be about 45,000boepd.

Venture also said yesterday that plans to start production from the Grouse field (central North Sea) and Stamford field (southern North Sea) next month and carry out the workover on the Mallard field (central North Sea) remained on track.

Chief executive Mike Wagstaff said: “The speed with which our offshore and onshore personnel reacted to the oil-sheen problem and the highly efficient way in which all parties were kept informed as to progress towards safely resolving the issue is something we can be proud of.

“Protecting the safety of our people and the environment must remain paramount in all offshore operations, despite the need to maximise recovery of oil and gas from our fields. We now look forward to enhancing the productivity of the Greater Kittiwake Area through the final tie-in of the new Grouse field, and the resumption of production from Mallard.”

Venture shares closed last night up 9.4% at 316.5p.