UK: Premier delays first oil from Solan once again

Image: Premier

Premier Oil, an international oil and gas exploration and production company, has informed that the start-up of its Solan development project in the UK North Sea has been delayed due to harsh weather in the North Sea. 

The British independent oil company has 100% working interest in the Solan oil field. The company has received approval of its Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Solan field from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in April 2012.

In November 2015, Premier expected to see the first oil from the Solan oil field, discovered by Hess in 1991, by the end of the year. However, according to Premier, the West of Shetlands area experienced an unprecedented number of different storm fronts during November and early December resulting in poor bridge connectivity between the flotel Superior and the Solan platform and a number of lost days. The company then revised the schedule to reflect this change saying the first oil was expected in January 2016.

In its latest progress report on Wednesday, Premier said that as a result of poor recent connectivity with the flotel, it now expects the first oil from Solan in February.

Premier also said on Wednesday that progress continued to be made on the final commissioning of the offshore installation systems required for first oil despite the unprecedented weather conditions in the West of Shetlands area.

Occupation has been achieved with personnel transferring to the asset this week and commissioning work continues to be supported by the Superior flotel, the company reported.

The project entailed the drilling of four subsea wells, two producers and two water injectors, tied back to a processing deck supported by a jacket. The first pair of producer-injector wells required for first oil have been tied in. Following completion of the second injector well, the Ocean Valiant rig will side-track the second producing well during the second quarter of 2016. When both pairs of wells are on-stream, expected plateau production will be 20-25 kboepd.

It is planned that the facilities will not be permanently manned after one year of operations. Oil will be stored in a subsea tank prior to being offloaded to shuttle tankers.

According to the company, cash spend to December 31, 2015, on the Solan project stood at $1.88 billion.

Premier’s capital expenditure guidance for 2016 is higher than that provided in its Trading Update in November ($650 million) due to additional deferral of costs from 2015 to 2016 and the impact of the weather delays on Solan first oil.

Offshore Energy Today Staff