Forties System Gas Ramp Up Takes Time
UK independent Serica Energy said January 12 it has been informed by BP, as operator of Bruce, Keith and Rhum, that these gas fields have each resumed production.
The fields were shut in December 11 2017 following discovery of a crack on the onshore oil section of the Forties Pipeline System (FPS). Along with all the other fields using the system, such oil and gas fields have been brought back into production as part of a phased restart of the whole FPS, said Serica.
Ineos as owner-operator of the FPS confirmed December 30 that it was flowing oil and gas again, after a three-week outage. However Serica's announcement suggests it has taken the best part of two weeks to get Bruce, Keith and Rhum back online since the FPS reopened, leaving the three fields unproductive for the best part of a month. Serica previously confirmed January 3 that its Erskine gas field, also connected to the FPS, had returned to production.
Serica announced November 21 it had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement to acquire interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields from BP. The deal has an effective date of January 1 2018 and completion of the acquisition, for a total consideration of some £300mn ($397mn) paid over a four-year period, is expected to take place in mid- or 3Q 2018.
Bruce field was discovered 1974 and has produced since 1993, with Keith tied back to Bruce in 2000, while Rhum -- a high-pressure, high-temperature satellite field 40km north of Bruce – started up 2005. Rhum was then shut in from 2010 until 2014 by EU economic sanctions against Iran, which owns half the field through Iranian Oil Co (part of state-owned NIOC) and - after the Serica deal – will continue to own 50% of the asset.