HSM completes Blythe and Southwark platforms for IOG

UK-based Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has signed off the Blythe and Southwark platforms as mechanically complete earlier this month.

Blythe (L) and Southwark (R) platforms; Source: IOG

This follows the arrival of the Noble Hans Deul rig at Elgood in early April. The rig has already started drilling the first of five planned development wells in IOG’s Phase 1 project.

The company also confirmed that it has, as planned, fully drawn its bond escrow account into unrestricted cash.

The two normally unmanned installation (NUI) platforms were constructed by contractor HSM Offshore at its yard in Schiedam, Netherlands.

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In addition to mechanical completion, onshore commissioning and system testing activities are already well underway and expected to be completed in May.

The transportation barges are already at the HSM quayside in preparation for load-out. Once yard departure checks are completed, the platforms will be ready for sail-away. Installation of both platforms is scheduled to be completed before the end of the second quarter, in preparation for first gas in the late third quarter.

Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, said: “Completing the Blythe and Southwark platforms is another key step forward for IOG in executing Phase 1 and laying the foundations for further growth. HSM has done an excellent job in maintaining the construction schedule despite the pandemic challenges.

The focus now turns to completing onshore commissioning work, load-out, transport and installation, all of which fall under the same HSM contract.

As small, remotely-operated installations, the Blythe and Southwark platforms will help us to minimise ongoing costs and carbon intensity – key elements of our operating philosophy as we look to scale up an environmentally low-impact UK gas development and production business“.

Jaco Lemmerzaal, managing director of HSM, added: “Working closely with IOG with a joint focus on efficient delivery, we are very proud of the construction of the Blythe and Southwark platforms being achieved on schedule.

With the onshore phase in the yard nearing completion, our next priority is the safe installation of both platforms offshore. We wish IOG success on achieving first gas later this year”.

It is worth mentioning that IOG awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contract for its Core Project Phase 1 platforms to HSM Offshore back in the summer of 2020.

Phase 1 comprises the development and production of the Southwark, Blythe, and Elgood gas fields through a total of five production wells with gas transported onshore to Bacton via the 24-inch Thames Pipeline.

Phase 2 consists of the Goddard, Nailsworth, and Elland fields. In total, the Core Project comprises 410 bcf of 2P+2C reserves and resources.