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Updated: HALO acquires the Schooner field for ‘reactivation’ – but not its production platform

Schooner HALO
HALO said it has acquired 100% of Schooner, but not the platform (right).

Hague and London Oil (HALO) has acquired 100% of the Schooner gas field in the North Sea but has not acquired rights to use the production platform to develop it.

The firm said it has been granted subsurface rights for the block, but does not own, operate or have responsibility for the platform.

HALO said it plans to “reactivate” Schooner, which is currently in the process of being decommissioned, but did not elaborate on how it plans to do so.

Norwegian firm DNO, who earlier this year halted its well decommissioning campaign due to Covid-19, will remain operator of the installation.

HALO said there is no arrangement with DNO on using the platform for this reactivation work.

DNO has been asked to comment.

In its trading update, HALO said it has now been awarded a 100% stake in the field, saying Schooner had been shut-in “despite material natural gas resources remaining”.

The Oil and Gas Authority’s Maximising Economic Recovery strategy requires operators to take steps to develop as much oil and gas as can be done so commercially – the use of an alternative production method to the in-place Schooner platform could bring up costs and reduce commercial recovery.

Once Schooner is re-activated, along with “nearby exploitation”, production will be directed to Den Helder in the Netherlands via the Western Gas Transmission system (WGT).

HALO currently owns 8.88% of WGT and, with partners “continues to examine opportunities in the UK near the border with the Netherlands”.

It added: “The absence of available infrastructure in the UK has created more opportunities for Dutch infrastructure nearby with numerous examples of such and the availability of processing, pipeline or facilities such as WGT offers.

“HALO has now formally been awarded the Schooner field which is located in the Southern North Sea of the UKCS, in license block 44/26a (“Schooner” or the “Block”). Schooner was “shut-in” despite material natural gas resources remaining due to the abandonments of “hub” facilities and the pipeline to a market in the United Kingdom (“UK”).”

Norwegian firm DNO submitted decommissioning plans for the Schooner and Ketch fields in August 2019.

In an update to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in April, DNO said it had opted to suspend its well abandonment programme due to Covid-19.

Talks have been underway for re-use of Schooner as accommodation for a windfarm in the North Sea.

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