Repsol Sinopec Resources UK (RSRUK) said yesterday that its flagship £1.6billion North Sea project was still on track despite extending a contract for an offshore accommodation vessel.
Oslo-listed vessel-owner Prosafe said RSRUK had taken up the option to extend the charter of the Safe Boreas for its Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) by 21 days.
RSRUK announced the arrival of the Safe Boreas at the Montrose area in March 2016 and said it expected the vessel to be in the field until the fourth quarter of last year.
The vessel was booked to support four phases of the project, including the Montrose shutdown, the installation of a new bridge linked platform (BLP), hook up, and commissioning and start-up.
The agreement for the Safe Boreas, named after the Greek god of the north wind, has now been extended through January 27, Cyprus-headquartered Prosafe said.
But a spokesman for RSRUK said the extension did not mean there had been a delay on MAR.
The project involves the modification and expansion of the existing Montrose Area infrastructure, including the development of three new fields – Godwin, Cayley and Shaw.
The lifespan of the area’s existing fields would be prolonged by at least 13 years, to beyond 2030.
Shaw is being developed as a subsea tie-back to the new BLP, whose installation was announced in May 2016.
The BLP is linked to the Montrose Alpha platform – one of the oldest in the North Sea – about 130 miles east of Aberdeen.
Production from Shaw was expected to start in 2017, and that remains the case, despite the Boreas extension.
“We’re still anticipating first oil from Shaw during Q1,” RSRUK’s spokesman said yesterday.
RSRUK – formerly Talisman Sinopec Energy UK – is the operator of MAR with a working interest of 58.97%, and Marubeni Oil & Gas (UK) is the sole partner.
The Montrose area includes the Montrose, Arbroath, Arkwright, Brechin, Wood, Godwin, Shaw and Cayley fields.
RSRUK is jointly owned by Repsol (51%) and Chinese firm Sinopec Group (49%) following the Spanish energy giant’s acquisition of the global assets of the former Talisman Energy in 2015.
It operates 10 fixed offshore platforms, two floating production facilities, and an onshore terminal at Flotta in Orkney.