Operations to re-start Erskine taking longer than expected, Serica says

Operations to re-start production at Chevron-operated Erskine field, located in the UK Central North Sea, are taking longer than expected due to issues in the Erskine to Lomond production line.

Production from the Erskine field was suspended on January 16, 2018 and remained suspended throughout the period due to a blocked export pipeline carrying Erskine condensate from the Lomond platform to link into the Forties Pipeline System.

On September 28 Serica Energy, a partner in the field with an 18% interest, reported that a new 26km section of the condensate export line from Lomond to the CATS Riser at Everest had been completed and tested and production was due to re-start shortly.

However, Serica said on Thursday that production restart of the Erskine wells and facilities is taking longer than expected due to the formation of gas hydrates (ice-like crystals of water and gas) in the Erskine to Lomond production line, upstream of the new line section, during the commissioning process.

According to the company, standard methods are being used by the operator to dissolve the hydrates, using methanol and slowly depressurising the line following which it is anticipated that the hydrates will be fully dissipated.

The process is not expected to result in a significant delay or in any long-term impact, Serica concluded.

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