Oil operator Taqa Bratani said yesterday it had started production at its Cormorant East field, less than three months after making the discovery.
The UK arm of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned energy firm said first oil was achieved 85 days after finding the reserve, believed to be the shortest turnaround on the UK continental shelf.
Taqa said Cormorant East, which has output of 5,500 barrels of oil per day, would be tied back to the nearby North Cormorant platform two miles south-west of the new development.
The firm, which has estimated Cormorant East has up to 30million barrels of oil in place, said it had been able to quickly start production after working closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and development partners.
Much of the preparation was done in advance of a well test and Taqa also submitted its field-development plan and environmental statement to DECC earlier than normal.
Taqa Bratani managing director Leo Koot said: “First oil production from Cormorant East marks an important step in the growth of Taqa’s exploration portfolio.
“We have established a successful, long-term business in the UK and plan to continue to play an integral role in enhancing the North Sea’s reputation as a world-class centre for exploration and production.”
Energy Minister John Hayes said: “It is the fruitful co-operation between the UK Government and Taqa that has made this field an attractive prospect and we warmly welcome this investment.
“The Cormorant East field is a beacon to investors that shows we are serious about making our oil and gas regime work for industry and work for the UK. The development of small fields is a fundamental part of this government’s strategy to extend the life of our oil and gas industry to create jobs and investment.”
Taqa holds a 60% stake in Cormorant East with partners Dana Petroleum (20%), Antrim Resources (8.4%), First Oil Expro (7.6%) and Bridge Energy (4%).