Premier Oil today confirmed it had successfully hooked-up its BW Catcher Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
It comes as the operator zeroes in on first oil, which is expected before the end of the year.
Premier Oil also completed the hook-up of the Submerged Turret Production (STP) buoy mooring system with the vessel successfully completing a rotation test around the buoy on Friday, October 20.
The final pull-in of the risers and umbilicals is now underway and commissioning activities have also commenced in parallel. Delivery of first oil remains on schedule by the end of the year.
Field ramp up will extend over three to four month period with Catcher being the first field
on line followed by the Varadero and Burgman fields.
Catcher is the initial field on production due to its crude oil stability and it has the lowest gas to oil content of the three fields.
Full field plateau production is expected to be 60kbopd. It will produce light oil expected to trade in line with Brent.
The Catcher field was discovered by the Catcher well drilled in May 2010 while the Catcher East side track, also encountered excellent quality oil bearing sandstones and established a common pressure regime. Phase 2 of the Catcher area exploration campaign was completed in early 2011 with successful discoveries at Varadero and Burgman. In June 2012, the Carnaby discovery was made on the western part of the block. It is expected that the Carnaby discovery will contribute as a future tie back to the Catcher area development.
The development concept was formally agreed by partners in December 2013 and UK government approval was received in June 2014. The sanctioned development entails 20 subsea wells on the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields which will be tied back to a leased FPSO. The oil will be offloaded by tankers while the gas will be exported through the SEGAL facilities. The 96 mmboe Catcher project is scheduled to deliver first oil in the coming weeks.
Significant cost savings have been achieved since sanction of the Catcher project with forecast gross capex to first oil now anticipated at $1.3 bn, 20 per cent below that originally sanctioned. Total capex forecast is $1.6 billion, 29 per cent lower than the sanctioned estimate.
Premier increased its interest in the Catcher area by 15% to 50% in 2012 as a result of the EnCore acquisition and acquired operatorship of the project. The partners in the Catcher area development are Premier (50 per cent, operator), Cairn, MOL and Dyas (10%).