Premier Oil pushes back Catcher tie-back sanctions

UK-based Premier Oil has pushed back plans to sanction two tie-back options for its Catcher development in the UK North Sea.

Premier said in its full-year financial results for 2018 published on Thursday that it identified several subsea tie-backs and infill drilling locations to maintain and extend production rates from the Catcher area.

The company added that two of those, the Catcher North and Laverda oil accumulations – in which Premier has a 50 percent operated interest – would be sanctioned during 1H 2019.

The development concepts will comprise two development wells drilled from a common drill center tied back to the Varadero manifold. The project will be worth around $70 million. Drilling is scheduled to begin in mid-2020 with first oil targeted for early 2021.

Also, Premier said it would drill an infill well on the Varadero field before the Catcher North and Laverda drilling program to target resources beyond the reach of the initial production wells.

Premier initially announced in August 2018 that Catcher North and Laverda would be sanctioned during the first quarter of 2019.

It is worth noting that Premier also plans to acquire 4D seismic across the Catcher Area in the second quarter of 2020 to help confirm additional future infill well locations.

The Catcher Area, which started oil production in December 2017 through the BW Offshore-owned Catcher FPSO, reached contracted plateau production rates of 60 kbopd (gross) in May 2018.

In the fourth quarter, following final commissioning of the FPSO secondary systems, plateau production increased to 66 kbopd.

Currently, the Catcher FPSO is producing from the Catcher, Varadero, and Burgman fields and delivered 38 cargoes since first oil.

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