Pipeline blockage shuts Erskine field output (UK)

UK oil company Serica Energy has informed that production from its Erskine gas and condensate field in the North Sea has been impacted by a pipeline blockage.

In a statement on Thursday, Serica said that the output in January and February had been strong at an average of 3,228 boe per day net to Serica, however on February 28, Erskine production was temporarily suspended during essential maintenance work to enable a foam cleaning device, known as a pig, to be recovered from the Lomond to Everest condensate line and to repair a condensate export pump on the Lomond platform.

The Erskine field includes a normally unattended platform and is remotely controlled from BG’s Lomond platform. An 18.6 mile (30 km) pipeline links the two facilities.

Secira said that the equipment to clear the pipeline is being deployed and the field is expected to resume production mid-April. Pigging of the Erskine to Lomond line has already been completed successfully.

The overall impact is to reduce Q1 average production to approximately 2,100 boe per day net to Serica, compared to previous guidance of 2,500 to 3,000 boe per day. The impact on April production will depend upon how quickly the field can be restarted, the company said.

Tony Craven Walker, Serica’s Chairman said:

“The Erskine field has continued to exceed expectations since Serica acquired its interest in June last year. The high facility uptime, improved and consistent field production rates and material cost reductions have resulted in operating costs per barrel well below recent oil price lows. We expect this strong performance to continue once the pig has been recovered and production has resumed.”

The Erskine Field lies approximately 150 miles (241 km) east of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the Central North Sea, in water depths of about 296 feet (90 m).

Discovered in 1981 in Block 23/26, Erskine is a gas condensate field. It was the first high-pressure, high-temperature field to be developed in the U.K. Continental Shelf. First production was achieved in December 1997. Chevron is the operator of the field, with 50% stake. Serica owns 18%, and Shell, following the acquisition of BG Group, owns 32%.

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