Cygnus; Source: Neptune Energy

First gas flows from another North Sea well, bolstering UK’s energy security

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has started production from the 11th well at its operated gas field in the North Sea, supporting the United Kingdom’s efforts to ensure more domestic gas and strengthen its security of energy supply.

Cygnus Alpha; Source: Neptune Energy

Neptune Energy disclosed on Thursday, 27 April 2023, that production had kicked off from the 11th well at its operated Cygnus gas field in the southern North Sea, “unlocking much-needed additional supplies and supporting UK energy independence.” Neptune Energy is the operator of Cygnus with a 38.75 per cent stake while its partner, Spirit Energy, holds the remaining 61.25 per cent interest.

Alan Muirhead, Neptune Energy’s UK Country Director, commented: “Cygnus plays an important role in supporting UK energy security and has the capacity to supply around 6 per cent of the country’s gas demand. We’re taking steps to boost North Sea gas production which reduces the UK’s reliance on less secure and more carbon-intensive supplies of imported energy, and also supports the government’s aim of achieving energy independence by 2040.”

According to the company, the new well is expected to produce approximately 4,000 boepd, which is enough gas to heat about 200,000 UK homes. Along with the tenth well which started production in February 2023, the Cygnus facility is expected to produce enough gas per day to meet the needs of around 1.9 million UK households. The tenth and 11th wells were drilled by Borr Drilling’s Prospector 1 jack-up rig.

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Neil McCulloch, Spirit Energy’s CEO, remarked: “Continuing to secure reliable and responsible supplies of energy from the UK continental shelf has never been more important. Spirit Energy is delighted to welcome first gas from the joint venture’s most recent investment in Cygnus, as gas continues to be a key energy source in the transition towards net-zero.”

The Cygnus field, which started its first gas production in 2016, has a field life of over 20 years. It hosts two platforms: Cygnus Alpha and Cygnus Bravo. While the first one consists of three bridge-linked platforms – a wellhead drilling centre, a processing unit and living quarters/central control room – the second one is an unmanned satellite platform located approximately seven kilometres northwest of Cygnus Alpha.

Furthermore, the gas from the field is exported via a 55 km pipeline and Cygnus connects to the gas-treatment terminal at Bacton, Norfolk via the Esmond Transmission System (ETS) pipeline. Based on Neptune’s statement, the Cygnus field continues to have one of the lowest carbon intensities on the UK Continental Shelf.