UK oil and gas firm Serica Energy (LON: SQZ) has announced first production from its 14 million barrel Columbus field.
Mitch Flegg, Serica’s chief executive, hailed the moment as a “significant milestone” for the company as it rounded off its first development project.
Hydrocarbons from the C1z development well began flowing into the Arran subsea system yesterday.
They are now being exported to Shell’s Shearwater platform for processing and onward export to the gas and liquid sales points.
Columbus is expected to achieve a “stable level” of production towards the beginning of next month.
Further information on flow rates will be issued as part of an operations update in mid-December, Serica said.
We are delighted to announce first gas production from our Operated Columbus Field which hooks into existing infrastructure, a lower carbon emission solution to increase our production and provide much-needed energy to the UK. More information in our December Operations Update. pic.twitter.com/yin15N6F7V
— Serica Energy plc (@SericaEnergyplc) November 25, 2021
Mr Flegg said: “I am delighted that first production has been achieved, as planned, during Q4 2021.
“This marks a significant milestone for Serica as it reaches the successful conclusion of its first development project.
“The Company was involved in the original discovery of Columbus and has acted as Operator through the appraisal and development phases and now into operations.
“I look forward to updating the market in mid-December by which time we expect to have ramped up production to a stable level.”
Serica revealed in October that it had delayed the start-up date for Columbus slightly due to restricted capacity at Shearwater.
As a result it slightly revised its full year net production, lowering it from the expected 23,000 to 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d).
Drilling at Columbus got underway in March after it was pushed back from the original 2020 date due to Covid-19.
At stable production it’s forecast the project will produce about 7,000 boe/d, about three quarters of which will be gas.
Oil and gas will be exported through the Forties system, coming onshore at Cruden Bay, and the SEGAL Pipeline, to St Fergus, respectively.
Located about 21 miles north of Shearwater, Serica uncovered Columbus in 2006 and holds a 50% stake in the field.
Waldorf Production and Tailwend Energy also have an interest in the project.
Mr Flegg added: “Serica’s approach to increasing its production base and providing much needed energy to the UK while seeking lower carbon emission solutions, has been achieved by using shared existing infrastructure to progress the development of Columbus.
“This has been a complex project and I would once again like to acknowledge the skill, hard-work and dedication of our project team, the Shearwater and Arran Operators and our joint venture partners Waldorf Production UK Ltd. and Tailwind Energy Ltd.”