TAQA has announced plans to extend the life of its oil and gas fields in the northern North Sea and maximise economic recovery.
The Abu-Dhabi government-controlled energy firm is transforming its Eider platform –which is no longer economically viable as a production platform – into a utility platform as part of a move to extend the life of its infrastructure for the years ahead.
A bypass project, which was completed late last year, now redirects production from the Otter field – which used to go through Eider- to the North Cormorant platform which is operated by TAQA.
As a result the life of the Otter field and the North Cormorant platform wells are being extended.
Production on Eider ended in early January and the transition to utility mode is set to take place this year.
TAQA says that while there will be reduced manning in utility mode, it is committed to redeploy all of its staff elsewhere which are no longer required on the Eider.
Donald Taylor, TAQA Europe’s managing director explains: “In utility mode Eider will continue to provide power, chemical and system support to enable production from the Otter field, which continues to provide significant value to our business. In addition, a plug and abandonment programme on the Eider wells is currently underway, with a planned removal of all significant hydrocarbons from the platform during the second half of 2018.
“We recognise that moving to utility mode will mean reduced manning is required on the Eider platform. We have maintained regular communications with all crew members and have committed to redeploy all TAQA staff not required for utility mode on Eider, across our operations, maintaining experience and expertise within our business. We are also working closely with our contractor companies to retain and redeploy crew where possible.
“The operating model for Eider in its new role is focused on supporting reliable operations at reduced expenditure levels and ultimately on securing a safe and successful future for TAQA’s northern North Sea business.”
Oil & Gas UK Upstream Policy Director Michael Tholen said: “TAQA’s successful bypass project and planned transformation of the Eider Alpha platform into a utility platform provides the company with a firm footing for its future operations in the northern North Sea.
“This sort of infrastructure project will help the UK to make the most of its own energy resources for decades to come.”
Brenda Wyllie, West of Shetland and Northern North Sea Area Manager at the Oil and Gas Authority said: “The OGA has agreed to these changes, firstly the transitioning of Eider from its production phase into a utility platform and welcomes the reduction of operating expenditure from the system; secondly, the re-routing of the Otter field’s production has been a vital step to deliver the maximum economic recovery from the field.”