Dana Petroleum has confirmed the long-awaited arrival of first oil from the £1.5billion ($2billion) Western Isles development in the UK North Sea.
Aberdeen-based Dana said the project came on stream on November 15 and that it had performed in line with expectations, so far.
The Western Isles vessel produces from the Harris and Barra oil fields in the northern North Sea, 100miles east of Shetland.
Dana – owned by Korea National Oil Corporation − has a 77% working interest in the project, while Cieco has 23%.
Western Isles is expected to produce up to 44,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, adding more than 30,000 barrels net to Dana’s daily production.
The project was sanctioned by the UK energy department in 2012, at which time first oil was slated for 2015. The original budget was around £1.2billion ($1.6billion).
But in mid-2015 Dana confirmed the start-up date had been pushed back to 2017 as construction of the vessel was taking longer than expected in China, contributing to an increase in the overall project cost.
Dana chief executive Roy Elliot said yesterday that start-up of Western Isles was a great achievement which demonstrated the firm’s on-going commitment to the North Sea.
Mr Elliot said: “We thank all of our staff, contractors and project partners who have worked so hard to bring Western Isles to this point. We now look forward to many years of safe and reliable production.”
Brenda Wyllie, northern North Sea manager at the Oil and Gas Authority, said the first oil milestone was positive news and helped confirm the remaining potential of the UK continental shelf.
The Western Isles development consists of production and water injection wells tied back to a new-build floating production, storage and offloading vessel.