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Operator ‘steams’ into North Sea frontier areas with pioneering spirit

The blocks awarded to the Steam Oil Co.
The blocks awarded to the Steam Oil Co.

A relatively newcomer to the North Sea is steaming ahead with plans to revolutionise the recovery of heavy oil from the North Sea.

The Steam Oil Production Company was established with the intention of launching the first major offshore development of its kind in the world.

In general, the onshore method of steam flooding involves pumping hot water vapour into a well.

This heats the oil to a higher temperature so that it flows more efficiently through the underground formation and into the production wells.

It is already a popular recovery medium in the Alberta sands of Canada.

Steam Oil want to learn the best offshore application of this method before committing to a full scale development scheme for the heavy oil fields on the Western Platform.

And the firm has just been awarded four part blocks surrounding the Pilot field, having acquired licenses for the it and the Harbour field in the previous round.

The firm now intends to prove that steam flooding the recovery of the hydrocarbons can be successfully done offshore with a trial run.

In a statement, Steam Oil, said: “We were delighted to learn that we are to be offered all the blocks we applied for and look forward to working with OGA and industry partners to progress a steam flood demonstration project on the Pilot field.

“The heavy oil reservoirs on the Western Platform: Pilot, Elke, Blakeney, Harbour, Narwhal & Feugh, pass all the conventional screening criteria for a successful steam flood and we believe the already discovered fields on Steam Oil’s acreage have the potential to produce in excess of 300 mmbbls, exploration success could increase the recoverable resource base on the Western Platform to over 500 mmbbls.”

The area awarded to Steam contains the Blakeney, Feugh, Dandy & Crinan discoveries, as well as feeder channels which are extensions of the Pilot field, the low-risk Bowhead prospect and the moderate-risk Titchwell prospect.

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