Canadian energy group Nexen expects first production from the Ettrick field development in the North Sea to start in the last quarter of this year.
The company said yesterday that delivery of the leased floating production vessel had taken longer than expected due to third-party labour shortages in the Singapore construction yard.
The vessel is designed to handle 30,000 barrels of oil and 35million cubic feet of gas a day. Nexen said that, during the second quarter of 2008, it drilled exploration wells in the North Sea at Blackbird and Pink.
Blackbird is located near Ettrick and Nexen said that, if successful, this prospect could be fast-tracked for development given the short distance to the Ettrick vessel.
The company said it was evaluating the results of the Pink discovery, which is a candidate for co-development with the Golden Eagle find.
Charlie Fischer, president and chief executive of Nexen, said: “We are encouraged with the results of our exploration programme in the North Sea.
“The prospects we have drilled are near existing infrastructure and can be tied back quickly upon success, providing incremental production growth to complement our outstanding Buzzard asset.”
Total production averaged 254,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the second quarter, including 86,500 barrels from Buzzard.
The quarterly total was down 13,000 barrels a day on last year, but North Sea output earlier this year was disrupted by a strike at the Grangemouth refinery which reduced quarterly volumes by around 3,000 barrels a day.
However, Mr Fischer said Nexen remained on track to meet its annual guidance range of 260,000-280,000 barrels a day.
Nexen had cash flow of £472million in the second quarter, up from £455.5million a year ago. Net income was ahead nearly £6million at £189.5million.
Subsea 7 said yesterday it had been awarded three new projects valued at around £33.5million under its existing long-term partnership frame agreement with Venture Production in the North Sea.
Subsea 7, whose worldwide operations base is at Westhill, near Aberdeen, executes all of Venture’s subsea engineering, construction and inspection, repair and maintenance works. The new projects are for the subsea development of Aberdeen-headquartered Venture’s Grouse, Stamford and Chestnut P2 fields.
The Grouse field will tie into the Kittiwake platform. Stamford will tie into the Markham platform in the Dutch sector of the North Sea and Chestnut P2 will tie into recently installed facilities at Chestnut. Work scope on the new projects includes project management, engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and pre-commissioning of around 25 miles of rigid pipe and associated umbilicals.
Robin Davies, Subsea 7’s North Sea vice-president, said: “These awards build on Subsea 7’s now longstanding partnership agreement with Venture for all subsea work in the North Sea.”