Serica expands North Sea portfolio with new blocks. Two HPHT prospects identified

London-listed oil firm Serica Energy has expanded its offshore acreage near its Rhum gas field in the North Sea. The company has already identified two HPHT prospects in the new blocks.

Serica has received an Out of Round award of a 100% interest in the UK petroleum license P2501, blocks 3/24c and 3/29c. According to the company, the acreage contains two high-pressure high-temperature prospects – the North Eigg and the South Eigg.

The primary prospect is North Eigg which is estimated to contain 360 bcf (P50) and potentially over 1Tcf (P10) of recoverable gas.

“The North Eigg prospect is interpreted to share many geological similarities with the Rhum field. It is clearly defined on 3D seismic and forms a structural trap sealed against the East Shetland bounding fault,” Serica said.

Serica has committed to drilling an exploration well within three years. Water depths at the North Eigg location are around 100 meters and an exploration well could be drilled with an HPHT semi-submersible rig or an HPHT heavy-duty jack-up rig.

In the event of a commercial discovery, Serica intends to develop the field via a subsea tie-back to the Serica operated and 98% owned Bruce facilities.

As well as providing Serica with potentially significant additional reserves, a tie-back to the Bruce platform would reduce unit operating costs and extend the economic life of this strategic North Sea infrastructure, the company said.

Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: “We are delighted to have received this Out of Round award. Since we completed our acquisition of the Bruce, Keith and Rhum (“BKR”) assets just over a year ago, our strategy has been to optimize economic returns through a hub strategy that includes operating efficiencies, investment and securing new third-party business in the BKR catchment area. Not only is this award an important step in our BKR hub strategy, it reinforces exploration as a material part of Serica’s upstream business.”

“These are exploration prospects and so there is no guarantee of success. In the event of a commercial discovery, the optimal development option will be a tie-back to the Bruce platform, which we would seek to fast track. In the meantime, our other efforts to enhance the value of the BKR assets will continue unabated. These include planning for the rig intervention in 2020 designed to bring the Rhum3 well into production for the first time and efforts to bring new third-party business to the Bruce facilities.”

In the event of a North Eigg discovery, Serica said it would investigate “creative options” for HPHT subsea tie-backs to the Bruce facilities and topsides modifications to ensure a low cost, efficient design to enable early development, maximize recovery and optimize production.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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