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Exclusive: Spirit goes after more Chiswick field gas with £75m investment

The Chiswick platform in the southern North Sea
The Chiswick platform in the southern North Sea

Spirit Energy expects to bring another 50billion cubic feet of gas on stream at one of its North Sea fields after sanctioning a £75million investment in a new well.

The exploration and production company, which launched in December, has booked Noble’s Hans Deul jack-up rig to drill the well in the southern North Sea Chiswick field later this year.

Hans Deul is one of five rigs Spirit Energy has hired in 2018 − accounting for 10% of Europe’s active rig market.

The rig will start preparatory work at Chiswick in April.

The new well will be the fifth drilled in the field, which is located about 90miles off Norfolk in the Greater Markham Area (GMA).

The last well was drilled in Chiswick in 2010.

GMA, which also includes the Markham, Grove and Kew fields, produced 23billion cubic feet of gas net to Spirit last year.

Chiswick, 100% owned by Spirit Energy, was discovered in 1984 and was brought on stream in 2007.

It is served by a normally unmanned installation (NUI).

Gas from Chiswick is processed at the J6-A platform on the Markham field ahead of transport to the Den Helder processing plant in the Netherlands.

Fraser Weir, North Sea director at Spirit Energy, said: “Having already produced billions of cubic feet of gas since coming on stream 11 years ago, we are delighted that the hard work and collaboration of our teams in both the UK and the Netherlands has led to us continuing our investment in the Chiswick field and extending the life of a key part of our portfolio.

“This is just one part of a busy rig programme for Spirit Energy in Europe this year, as we explore for fresh discoveries, maximise the potential of existing fields and plug wells which have ceased production.”

Spirit Energy is a joint venture made up of Centrica’s exploration and production (E&P) business and Bayerngas Norge.

The company produces around 50million barrels of oil per year from 27 fields and plans to invest £400-£600million annually.

It employs more than 700 people across locations in Staines-upon-Thames and Aberdeen in the UK, Oslo and Stavanger in Norway, Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, and Copenhagen in Denmark.

More than 350 are Aberdeen-based.

The business enjoyed a quick win last month when it announced that extra barrels had been brought on stream on the Chestnut field following a £35million investment.

Chestnut, 125miles north-east of Aberdeen, would have been shut down in 2017 had the investment not been sanctioned.

The contract for the vessel which serves the field has been extended by up to three years to 2020.

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