Centrica to develop Butch as subsea tie-back to Ula

Operator Centrica Energy Norway and partners have decided that the Butch discovery in the North Sea will be developed as a subsea tie-in to the Ula field. 

According to Centrica’s press release, with the selected subsea tie-in concept the Butch well stream will be transported to the BP operated Ula platform where processing will be performed. The Butch oil will be exported via the Ula oil export pipeline to Ekofisk and onwards into Norpipe to Teeside terminal in England. The produced gas from Butch will be injected into the Ula Field reservoir to improve oil recovery.

“This is an important milestone for the Butch development project. The subsea tie-in is an innovative solution re-using the Oselvar infrastructure at the Ula platform. The chosen concept secures a predictable, safe and cost efficient delivery of the Butch development,” says Henning Eide, Butch development manager at Centrica Energy Norway.

Several options

Centrica and partners Suncor Energy, Faroe Petroleum and Tullow Oil evaluated several options for the development of PL405 Butch with two alternatives at the end; a subsea tie-back to Ula, or a standalone production jack-up solution.

 “The selected concept is an efficient solution that is seen as the best HSE concept, combined with robust economics. It also connects the field to a capable and experienced host operator,” says Eide.

Planned startup in 2019

The Butch field was discovered in 2011 and is located in the Norwegian part of the North Sea, approximately 13 kilometers east of the Ula field. Recoverable reserves are estimated to be between 27 million and 51 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 95 per cent is oil. Production is planned to start in 2019, with a peak production of 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Total estimated investments in the Butch project is estimated to be between 6 and 7 billion Norwegian kroner, equivalent to between £500 million and £600 million. Final investment decision is expected in late 2016.

Centrica Energy Norway is operator of the license with a 40 percent share. Partners are Suncor Energy (30 per cent share), and Faroe Petroleum and Tullow Oil (15 per cent each).

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