Serica to file Columbus development plan by end of 1H 2018

UK-based Serica Energy is mulling options for the development of its Columbus field in the Central North Sea with an intention to submit the development plan by the end of 1H 2018. 

Serica Energy-operated Columbus field is a gas-condensate accumulation in the Forties Sandstone Formation. The field has been fully appraised by four wells.

Serica has technically evaluated two alternative export routes for Columbus production, via the Chrysaor-operated Lomond platform directly southeast, or via the Shearwater platform, 35km to the Southwest as part of a joint development of the Arran field.

The company has been trying to develop the Columbus field for years now. It suffered a major setback back in 2013, when BG, the former operator of the Lomond platform, cancelled the Lomond Bridge Linked Platform that was to be part of the export route for gas and gas condensate from the Columbus field. Back in April 2017 Serica thought that the Columbus development plan would be submitted by the end of last year and development work started in 2018.

Serica has continued to work with its partners Endeavour (25%) and EOG (25%) and neighboring infrastructure owners in line with the OGA’s Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) initiative.

Judging by its update on Monday, January 29 Serica still has not given up on Lomond as the potential development solution for Columbus.

Namely, Serica said on Monday that engineering design work and commercial negotiations are progressing on two alternative offtake routes: a subsea development via a future pipeline operated by the Arran field owners tying into the Shell-operated Shearwater platform; and drilling an extended reach well from the Lomond platform, which is now operated by Chrysaor.

Serica noted that Columbus partners intend to make a decision on the optimum route and submit a Field Development Plan (FDP) by the end of the first half of this year.

Mitch Flegg, Chief Executive of Serica Energy, commented: “We expect to make a decision on the export route for Columbus production during H1 2018.”

Depending on the route selected, first production could be as early as 2019 or in the case of the Shearwater option, 2021, Serica concluded.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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