Whalsay Energy seeking operating partner for Bentley oil field. Targets first oil for 2023

UK-based Whalsay Energy is seeking operating partners to help it develop the Bentley offshore oil field, dubbed one of the largest undeveloped fields in the North Sea.

Bentley field development schematics
Bentley field development schematics / Image source: Whalsay Energy

The Bentley field – discovered by Amoco in 1977 – is located on the East Shetland Platform in the UK Northern North Sea, 8 km southeast of the Statoil’s Bressay field, and 15 km east of the Enquest’s Kraken field.

Whalsay took over the 100% stake in the Bentley field for in 2017 following the liquidation of the previous operator Xcite Energy.

Xcite Energy had acquired the Bentley field in 2003 and had spent years trying to develop it. Xcite in 2012 completed the pre-production phase, producing 147,000 barrels of Bentley crude oil in the process.

However, Xcite was eventually liquidated in 2017, having been unable to repay pay $152 million in debt when bonds issued in 2014 matured on October 31, 2016.

The field was then sold to Whalsay, a company owned by the affected bondholders, for $1.

A little more than two years after taking control over the Bentley field, Whalsay last week launched the farm-out process. The process is being led by Gneiss Energy.

Bentley field reserves – Source: Whalsay Energy

The Bentley field is located on the East Shetland Platform in the UK Northern North Sea, 8 km southeast of the Equinor’s Bressay field, and 15 km east of the Enquest’s Kraken field, in 113 meters of water.

Xcite Energy had planned for the development of the Bentley field to include a self-elevating ACE production platform, a bridge-linked Floating, Storage and Offloading (FSO) unit, and a jack-up drilling rig.

According to Whalsay, the company has developed a new conventional phased development plan which focuses on the core area of the field, targeting 131 MMstb (P50) of independently verified reserves from a full field PIIP of 912 MMstb (P50).

“The proposed development concept is based on a twenty-slot conventional jacket and topsides transferring blended crude to an FSO for export via shuttle tanker.”

The company has set an indicative timeline where the Final Investment Decision could be expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, with first oil then achievable in the fourth quarter of 2023, with output rates expected to reach up to 45,000 bopd.

“The first oil date of Q4 2023 is based on project FID in Q4 2020 subject to a new operator partner’s project approval process,” Whalsay said.

The company has estimated costs to first oil would require a $729 million investment.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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