GDF Suez E&P UK Ltd. (GDF) has awarded a £1.4 million (US$ 2.17 million) joint study to Xodus Group and Atkins for Concept Select work in the Austen (formerly Jacqui) field in the Central North Sea, with an option to proceed into the Concept Definition phase.
The studies will identify development and export options for the field. Aberdeen-based Xodus and Atkins will start work immediately with completion scheduled for 1Q 2014. The contract follows the successful drilling of an appraisal well by GDF in 2012 and was bid against competition from other UK and European contractors. It is the start of several workscopes currently being planned by GDF to support its Central North Sea development portfolio.
GDF acquired the licence containing the Austen discovery, which is in block 30/13b in the East Central Graben, as part of the 26th UK Offshore Licensing Round in 2011. The field includes a gas-condensate discovery and two oil discoveries, and has additional upside potential from several unappraised compartments.
Jean-Claude Perdigues, managing director of GDF said, “This contract marks a significant milestone in our progress, since we acquired the licence in 2011. The Central North Sea is one of our three core development areas and Austen is an important part of our plans, as we move towards our goal of being a successful development operator in the region.”
GDF signed an agreement with E.ON UK E&P Ltd. (E.ON) on 29 May 2013 under which E.ON will acquire a 25% share in the Austen project. GDF will retain operatorship with 75% interest. The transaction is subject to approval by DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change).