First oil flows at Premier's Catcher

December 23, 2017

Christmas came early for Premier Oil and its Catcher development partners. First oil was achieved from the field's FPSO today (23 December), according to FPSO owner and operator BW Offshore.

BW Catcher FPSO.

Catcher's operator, Premier, confirmed the news on 27 December. "Initial stabilized production from the Catcher field will be at an expected rate of around 10,000 b/d. This will be ramped up in phases with production from the Varadero field followed by the Burgman field," Premier said. "The phased approach allows for management of the well stock while commissioning of the gas processing modules and full water injection systems on the FPSO are completed.

"Production in the Catcher Area as a whole will increase to approximately 60,000 bo/d during 1H 2018, adding 30,000 bo/d (net) to Premier's daily production."

The BW Catcher FPSO arrived at the Premier Oil-operated Catcher field offshore UK on 18 October, after sail-away from the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore in late August and a brief stopover at Nigg, BW Offshore said.

The FPSO, designed to produce 20 years uninterrupted, has storage capacity for 650,000 bbl and processing capacity for up to 60,000 b/d.

In November, Premier stated in its operations update that 12 wells (eight producers and four injectors), which were planned pre-first oil, have been drilled and completed, and tied back to the FPSO. Drilling activities for the second phase development wells are ongoing.

"The first of these phase two wells (CCP9) continued the trend of delivering results on, or better than, prognosis in terms of reservoir quality and flow rates," Premier stated on 16 November.

The field saw its development costs cut by 29%, leaving the final bill at around US$1.6 billion, from when the field was sanctioned in June 2014.

The Catcher area is expected to produce 96 MMboe, with a peak production rate of around 50,000 b/d. The development will comprise 20 subsea wells (14 producers and eight water injectors) on the Catcher, Varadero, and Burgman fields, tied back to the BW Catcher FPSO.

"The Catcher development project is nearing completion on time and well within budget. We are very pleased with the effective hook-up and commissioning, which reflects extensive preparations through-out the construction phase and a well-planned offshore installation program," said Carl K. Arnet, CEO, BW Offshore. 

BW Catcher is owned and operated by BW Offshore and will start a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years.

The Catcher development is operated by Premier Oil (50%) in partnership with Cairn Energy (20%), MOL Group (20%) and Dyas (10%). 

In early December, Reuters reported that Hungary's MOL Group is considering leaving the UK North Sea, due to the drop in oil prices. MOL came into the basin in 2013.

Read more:

Premier's Catcher FPSO hooked up

Premier's Catcher on track

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