Independent oil producer EnQuest has achieved a significant safety milestone after recording a total of 11 years without a lost time incident (LTI) across three of its North Sea producing assets.
The Heather drilling team achieved eight years without an LTI, and during this period EnQuest completed its return to drilling (R2D2) project which led to the start-up of drilling on the platform for the first time since 2006. The R2D2 project is part of a redevelopment programme that will extend the life of the Heather platform, which has twice faced decommissioning in the past, to around 2030.
On EnQuest’s Northern Producer floating production facility, two years without an LTI has been achieved while successful drilling has ensured the Don fields have continued to underpin EnQuest’s growth. Operations on the Thistle platform have been LTI-free for a year, during which period platform drilling followed by a major construction phase of the Thistle Life Extension (LLX) programme, were carried out. The combination of successful drilling and LLX power upgrades also delivered the highest production levels since the 1990s.
Neil McCulloch, President of EnQuest’s North Sea business, said: “This is an exceptional achievement by our teams on three North Sea assets that started life in the 1970s, and under EnQuest’s stewardship are now undergoing major redevelopment and investment to extend their life and ensure they continue producing safely for many years to come.
“We’ve had zero recordable incidents anywhere in our portfolio year to date in 2014, and are approaching incident-free operations where we have zero safety or production incidents. At EnQuest we recognise that good HSE performance goes hand in hand with good business performance, and that both are outcomes of high quality operations. The safety of our people and protection of the environment are vital to maintaining a successful and sustainable business and it takes a huge amount of commitment, focus and drive from every person across our offshore installations and our wider support team to deliver results like this.
“The industry is facing some real challenges but this achievement goes to show that with the right strategy, the right peple and the right approach to safety, there are still some great success stories coming out of the North Sea.”
Rune Lorentzen, President of Offshore for KCA Deutag, one of the world’s leading drilling and engineering contractors said: “We have built a strong, long term relationship with EnQuest through our drilling work on the Thistle and Heather platforms. This has been achieved through our mutual commitment to delivering safe, effective operations and we are proud that KCA Deutag has played a part in EnQuest’s LTI success.”
EnQuest, which is the largest UK independent producer in the UK North Sea, has established a considerable track record in maximising production from ageing assets.
The company’s Thistle LLX project was formulated as a means of recovering millions of extra barrels of oil from the Thistle and Deveron fields and is now recognised as a proven template for mature field development in the North Sea. The first phase of the LLX programme started in 2010 with a successful rig reactivation project which saw EnQuest bring Thistle drilling back online to drill its first new wells in 20 years.
Heather represents EnQuest’s second major redevelopment project with R2D2 forming part of a strategy to target some of the 360 million barrels of oil estimated to remain in the field.