Photo: Pilot field development plan; Source: Orcadian

Orcadian moving on with development plan for North Sea field as OGA okays concept

Oilfield development company Orcadian Energy has received no objection from the UK’s petroleum regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), for the development concept designed for the Pilot field in the North Sea and will now move to advance its Field Development Plan (FDP).

Pilot field development plan - Orcadian
Pilot field development plan; Source: Orcadian

Orcadian Energy reported on Wednesday that it has received a letter of no objection from the OGA in respect of the development concept for the Pilot field, which signals the finalisation of the assessment phase and the entry into the authorisation phase of development planning for the field.

Steve Brown, Orcadian’s CEO, commented: “The letter of no objection for the concept select study from the OGA is a really important step in the progress towards the development of the Pilot field. This is also particularly pleasing for us given the extensive work that the team have done to address the net-zero aspects of the development.”

Orcadian’s development concept for the Pilot field is based upon the use of polymer flooding to maximise economic recovery, implemented using an FPSO, two wellhead platforms, and over thirty production and injection wells. A floating wind turbine unit supplemented by associated gas will supply most of the energy requirements for the development.

Orcadian assets; Source: Orcadian Energy

Based on the information provided to date and the OGA’s current understanding of that information, the OGA has no objection to Orcadian preparing an FDP for the Pilot field as described in the concept select documents.

To significantly reduce emissions, the concept delivers a well-optimised process heat management scheme and includes a local wind power system, with backup gas engines. Crondall Energy on behalf of Orcadian has estimated the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions over the life of the field to be 2.6 kgCO2e per barrel, about an eighth of the North Sea average emissions in 2020, and less than half of the lowest emitting oil facility currently operating on the UKCS. 

We believe the plan that we have developed, once executed, will ensure that the Pilot field emissions will lie in the lowest 5 per cent of global oil production, an incredible achievement and one in keeping with the drive to net-zero whilst continuing to ensure energy security in the UK,” elaborated Brown.

Orcadian is preparing a plan to advance the FDP and progress the project through the authorisation phase, with a particular focus on securing a contract for the provision of an FPSO vessel.

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As confirmed in October this year, the firm engaged Crondall to assist with this and a short list of three providers have been identified. The company’s directors believe that this vessel selection is a crucial step in the process of finalising the basis of design for the rest of the development at Pilot.

The commercial terms offered by the contractors will fundamentally define the capital requirements of the project. Orcadian added that further updates will be provided as appropriate.

Pilot is the largest oilfield in Orcadian’s portfolio and has been well appraised, while a total of five wells and two sidetracks were drilled so far, including a relatively short horizontal well, which produced over 1,800 bbls/day on test.

In recent news, Orcadian reached a non-binding agreement with Carrick Resources regarding a farm-out of a prospect in the UK North Sea.