Serica warns of short delay at UK Columbus field
London-listed Serica Energy warned on October 29 that there would be a "short delay" to the launch of the Columbus gas field in the UK North Sea, but said the project was still on track to start up in the fourth quarter of this year.
The postponement is due to restricted capacity at Shell's Shearwater platform that is due to handle hydrocarbons from Columbus. Serica has subsequently cut its production guidance for the year from 25,000 to 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day, it said.
"There will be no significant long-term impact resulting from this short delay to the Columbus start-up and I am pleased that the well is ready to produce as soon as the export system allows," CEO Mitch Flegg said.
He noted that Serica's production was strong in September and October amid high commodity prices, averaging over 26,000 boe/d at the Bruce, Keith, Rhum and Erskine fields.
Columbus is due to flow 7,000 boe/d of hydrocarbons at full capacity, of which 75% is expected to be gas. After separation at Shearwater, gas will be exported to St Fergus via the SEGAL pipeline, while condensate will be pumped to Cruden Bay via the Forties system.
Serica suffered another setback at Columbus in May, after difficulties in drilling its development well led to a £3mn ($4.3mn) cost overrun.