Shell to develop Fram gas and condensate field in the Central North Sea

Shell to develop Fram gas and condensate field in the Central North Sea

According to Offshore Energy Today Oil major Shell has submitted an environmental statement (ES) in support of the field development plan for its Fram gas and condensate field in the Central North Sea to the UK authorities.

In the statement, Shell proposed to develop the Fram field, located in Blocks 29/3a, 29/4c, 29/8a, 29/9c in the Central North Sea, as a subsea tie-back utilizing existing Starling infrastructure to the Shearwater platform.

The Shearwater field is a high pressure, high temperature (HP/HT) reservoir developed with a normally manned integrated process, utilities and quarters (PUG) platform, which is bridge linked to a wellhead (WH) platform. Shell is the operator of the field with ExxonMobil as its partner.

The 30-day public consultation period for the Fram development environmental statement ends on November 24.

As detailed in the ES, Shell is proposing to develop Fram as a gas and gas condensate field with two horizontal wells in the Drill Centre East (DCE) area. Produced fluids will be transported via a new flowline to the existing Starling manifold (approximately 15 km away), comingled with Starling production fluids and further transported via existing infrastructure to the Shearwater platform 33 km away.

Fluids from the Shearwater platform are exported through the Shearwater Elgin Area Line (SEAL) and Forties Pipeline System (FPS) pipelines. No modifications are required to the Shearwater topsides hydrocarbon processing equipment. Minor topsides changes include an upgrade to the control system and modifications of the chemical injection system.

According to the plan, drilling operations are expected to start in the first quarter of 2019 and first production is expected in the second quarter of 2020.

Shell initially received regulatory approval for the Fram development in October of 2012. Fram was originally designed for a 35,000 barrels oil equivalent per day development using floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) technology. However, during the 2012 – 2013 drilling campaign, unexpected reservoir results were produced that led to the suspension of the development in February 2013 and subsequent re-framing of the project concept.

Shell also said in the ES that Dana Petroleum had proposed to develop its Arran field as a subsea tieback to the Shearwater platform. Dana is planning to submit an ES for the Arran Field to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the fourth quarter of 2017. If the project goes ahead, Dana anticipates to start production from the Arran Field in 2021, one year after the proposed Fram start-up.

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