Hurricane hits snag during Lancaster hook-up job

The Aoka Mizu FPSO arriving in Rotterdam in Q4 2018
The Aoka Mizu FPSO has finally been hooked up to a buoy at Lancaster

Oil firm Hurricane Energy’s efforts to start production from its Lancaster field have suffered a setback.

The Aoka Mizu floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel was forced to return to the Cromarty Firth after running into difficulties during the hook-up phase at Lancaster, west of Shetland.

On Friday, the rope for pulling in the buoy for the mooring system became snagged and the hook-up operation was postponed, the London-headquartered company said.

The rope was eventually freed and the buoy returned to its starting position.

With weather conditions expected to worsen, Aoka Mizu has returned to the Cromarty Firth to complete remediation work on the buoy pull-in system.

Hurricane said it would provide an update once hook-up has been completed.

Lancaster — 100%-owned by Hurricane — is thought to hold 523 million stock tank barrels of oil.

The company intends to develop the field in phases.

Initially, Hurricane will use an early production system (EPS) to assess whether it can progress to a full field development.

The EPS, which involves tying two wells back to Aoka Mizu, should produce 17,000 barrels of oil per day.

First oil is on the slate for the first half of this year.