Private-equity-backed Neptune Energy has kicked off the subsea construction phase of its Covid-delayed Seagull project offshore UK.
TechnipFMC’s Apache II pipelay vessel has started putting down about 3 miles of pipeline in the central North Sea.
The firm’s Normand Mermaid vessel was mobilised in late August to provide pre-lay activities, including surveying and boulder removal.
Following the pipe installation, its Normand Ranger will undertake trenching activities for the development.
Neptune, as operator, holds 35% of Seagull, BP has 50% and Japex has 15%.
The field is being developed as a subsea tieback to BP’s Etap platform.
Neptune bought its stake in the 50 million barrel project from Apache in 2018 and made a final investment decision in March 2019.
It initially hoped to bring the high pressure, high temperature field on-stream by the end of 2021.
But the company said in May that first oil would be pushed back 12-15 months due to Covid-related disruption.
Neptune UK managing director Alexandra Thomas said today: “Seagull is an important project for Neptune, its partners and the UK. It is expected to produce 50,000 boe per day and supports UK security of supply.
“This is a key milestone for Seagull – the first step in offshore execution of the project.
“We continue to work with our contractors and suppliers, focusing on the safe deployment of people, vessels, and equipment and managing the challenges associated with the impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”
TechnipFMC vice president Bill Morrice, said: “We are delighted to see the first offshore execution milestone on the project come to fruition.
“Despite the challenging backdrop of Covid-19 we have worked collaboratively with Neptune as one team to deliver our scopes to date both safely and efficiently.
“This comes as a result of the valuable contribution from our design, engineering, HSEQ, procurement and fabrication teams and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with Neptune to achieve first oil at the Seagull development.”