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Kraken commissioning behind schedule

Written by  OE Staff Wednesday, 23 August 2017 04:01

EnQuest’s Kraken heavy oil development in the UK North Sea is taking longer to ramp up than expected with topsides equipment commissioning taking longer than expected.

However, full cycle gross project capex on the field is now estimated to be about US$2.4 billion, down 25% on the original sanctioned cost of $3.2 billion.

The field came on stream via Bumi Armada’s Armada Kraken floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in June. Four wells from drill center one and two wells out of three from drill center two are also producing at rates above expectations.

Injection wells have also surpassed expectations, says EnQuest, and the hydraulic submersible pumps, subsea production system and turret performing as expected.

However, commissioning of the FPSO vessel topsides equipment has been constraining production, leading lower than expected production volumes. 

According to GMP Research this is "due to heavy oil/water separation issues at surface. Both fluids have a very similar density. Given the high amount of water injected as power fluid with the pumps, the effective water cut is already 70%." 

EnQuest anticipates the commissioning issues will be solved by YE17 with instrumentation tuning.Drill center three wells are due to complete in Q4 2017, three to four months ahead of schedule, however, which is expected to make US$100 million capex savings, alongside lower market rates for the subsea costs for drill center four.  

EnQuest CEO, Amjad Bseisu said: “EnQuest was pleased to bring the Kraken field onstream in Q2 2017 at a substantially reduced capex spend, having delivered excellent drilling and subsea programs. The FPSO however is a complex vessel, designed and built to manage the heavy oil from the Kraken development, and it is taking longer than expected to commission during this initial period. Nonetheless, we have been very pleased with reservoir performance and the flow rates achieved on individual wells and, we expect the field to increase production in Q4 and to achieve plateau production of approximately 50,000 b/d gross in H1 2018.”

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