Photo: Bruce, Keith, and Rhum facilities; Source: Serica

Serica shuts down North Sea field over subsea control module issues

Oil and gas company Serica Energy has stopped production from the Rhum field, located in the UK North Sea, for repair and replacement following issues with a subsea control module.

Serica provided an update on Rhum field production operations on Monday, explaining that a fault had been identified in the Rhum subsea control module (SCM), which had necessitated a temporary shutdown of production at the field.

Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: “This is a frustrating event, but I am confident our skilled teams onshore and offshore will safely and efficiently implement the required repairs using equipment and plans already in place to deal with such a situation.”

The Rhum SCM is located on the seabed in the vicinity of the Rhum wells, approximately 40km north of the Bruce platform and provides power and controls required to operate the Rhum wells.

The company informed that there are currently no safety or environmental issues associated with this fault, adding that a programme to replace the control module is being planned utilising a spare module held in stock, which will necessitate diving operations.

Furthermore, while a timetable is not yet finalized, Serica believes that it is likely that production at the field will not resume for at least two weeks. However, the firm elaborated that production from the Bruce field continues and has not been adversely affected and other producing fields – Erskine and Columbus – have also not been impacted by this issue.

“Production from Bruce, Erskine and Columbus has consistently averaged over 10,000boe/d net to Serica so far this year. We expect these rates to continue during the Rhum shutdown and we will look for ways to optimise the Bruce production rates during this period,” stated Flegg.

The company also added that further updates would be provided when the production at the Rhum field is restarted.

Serica owns and operates the Bruce (98 per cent interest), Keith (100 per cent) and Rhum (50 per cent) assets, which consist of over 25 wells, three bridge-linked platforms and extensive subsea pipelines and infrastructure that tie in Rhum, Keith, and the Western Area of Bruce to the Bruce facilities.

When it comes to planned activities for the Bruce, Keith and Rhum (BKR) fields, Serica revealed in January 2022 its plans to undertake a well intervention campaign to boost production from existing wells and drill an exploration well on another prospect in the surrounding area, seeking to find more hydrocarbons.

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The firm also extended its contract with Odfjell Drilling last month for operations on the Bruce platform.