Shell has hit pause on a number of UK North Sea projects due to the recent crude price drop and Covid-19 outbreak, it is understood.
The Anglo-Dutch energy giant will push its Shearwater-Fulmar gas line re-plumb project into next year.
The scheme was sanctioned in December 2018 and forms part of Shell’s strategy to grow its gas production from around the Shearwater platform in the central North Sea.
Dry gas produced by Shearwater currently flows via the Seal pipeline to Bacton on the east coast of England.
Shearwater, 140 miles east of Aberdeen, will be modified and a 23 mile pipeline installed linking the installation to the Fulmar Gas Line. This will allow wet gas to flow into the Segal pipeline.
The gas will initially be processed at the St Fergus plant near Peterhead prior to onward transmission of natural gas liquids to Mossmorran in Fife, where they will be separated and exported to customers.
Shearwater plays a key role in the energy giant’s so-called Central Graben Strategy, making the platform the main production site for nearby fields like Arran and Fram, and Serica’s Columbus development.
Meanwhile, a final investment decision (FID) on the Jackdaw development – initially expected in Q2 2020 — will be put on hold until 2021.
The Jackdaw field, 155 miles east of Aberdeen, is expected to be developed using a new, not-permanently-attended wellhead platform (WHP) tied back via a 20 mile subsea pipeline to Shearwater.
Work in China on the floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the 80 million barrel Penguins project was delayed by the virus, while some drilling offshore UK will be pushed back to 2021.
It’s understood bosses at Shell believe the schedule for first oil from Penguins, currently sometime in 2022, won’t be affected.
When Shell approved Penguins in January 2018, it said the FPSO would be its first new manned installation in the northern North Sea in almost 30 years.
Last week, partner Siccar Point Energy announced that an FID on the Cambo project off Shetland would have to wait until next year also. Shell acquired a 30% working interest stake in Cambo in 2018.