The project partnership operated by GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V., of which RWE Dea UK is part, completed the installation of the platform to develop the Orca gas field in the Southern North Sea.
The first development well was spudded. First production from Orca is expected late 2013 / early 2014.
The installation of the normally unmanned platform D18a-A was successfully completed by the installation vessel Oleg Strashnov. The platform is located in the Dutch sector, 500 metres from the UK sector and in approximately 40 metres water depth. It is designed to produce natural gas from up to six wells with a maximum production capacity of 2.4 million normal cubic metres per day.
The first development well was spudded and is targeting a Carboniferous reservoir at a depth of some 3,600 metres. The well is the first of up to three planned gas producers. “We are very pleased to have achieved this major milestone in the development of the Orca field,” says René Pawel, Managing Director of RWE Dea UK. “The project is on track to provide an important contribution to reach our growth targets in the United Kingdom,” he adds. Over the last decade the United Kingdom has developed into one of the most important regions for the upstream business of RWE Dea AG.
At Orca, the produced gas, separated from free liquid in the production separator, will be measured on the platform and exported via an 8 inch subsea pipeline, routed to the D15a-A platform for further treatment. Along with this export pipeline, a 2 inch pipeline will be installed for methanol supply from the D15a-A platform, 20 kilometres north. After treatment on the D15a-A platform, the produced gas will be exported via the existing main trunkline, operated by Noordgastransport B.V., to Uithuizen in the Netherlands.
Orca is one of only two known fields to straddle the median line between the Netherlands and UK (the other being Markham). The Orca development project, which is unitised between the UK and Netherlands participants, was approved by the partners in 2011. Production from the field is expected in late 2013 or early 2014.
Orca spreads into blocks 44/24a, 44/29b and 44/30a in the UK, while it is in blocks D15b and D18a in the Dutch sector. The Orca field is operated by GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V.