Premier Oil says production on the North Sea Huntington field has increased to 20,000 bbl/d as restrictions on the CATS pipeline continue to be lifted.
Full production rates on the Voyageur Spirit FPSO, which produces the Huntington field, are due to return as remaining restrictions are removed, said Premier Oil.
Production was restricted from Huntington and a number of other fields in the North Sea after a restriction was on the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) by operator BP after off-specification pipeline gas from an unknown source was delivered to the CATS terminal at Teesside, in northeast England.
Image: The Voyageur Spirit FPSO.
CATS is a "wet" natural gas transportation system, used to export from the E.ON E&P operated Huntington field and other UK North Sea fields to the Teesside terminal.
The restriction, initiated in mid-September, meant a reduction in production on those fields, including Huntington’s oil production.
Last month, Iona Energy said production was reduced to 40% of the Huntington floating production, storage and offloading vessel’s capacity, because it was unable to produce gas.
Before the restriction, Huntington was producing at its full capacity of 30,000bbl/d and 27MMcf/d gas.
Further complicating the issue was, due to the shutdown of other fields within the CATS system, Huntington production had been restricted until such time as dry gas fields resume production, said BP, according to Iona last month month, which will allow a blend of dry and wet gas streams.
BP had previously indicated that constraints imposed on Huntington are likely to be lifted progressively from early November, as the drier gas fields come out of maintenance shutdowns.
The working interests in the Huntington field are E.ON E&P (25% operator), Premier Oil plc (40%), Norwegian Energy Company ASA (20%), and Iona (15%).
CATS is a joint venture, operated by BP. CATS delivers about 12% of the UK's Gas demand through a 404km (223mi.) 36in.-diameter pipeline from a riser platform adjacent the BP-operated gas field in the central North Sea to the CATS processing terminal.
The CATS pipeline carries wet gas from the Everest, Lomond, Armada, Andrew, Banff, ETAP, J-Block, Jade, Erskine, Seymour, Montrose Arbroath, Maria, Rev, Gaupe and Huntington fields.
CATS can handle more than 48MMcu m (1.7Billion cu ft) of natural gas per day.