Xcite inks Aibel MOU

July 4, 2014

Xcite Energy has agreed a memorandum of understanding with Norway's Aibel, setting out the principles for executing the engineering, procurement and construction self installing platform for its UK North Sea Bentley heavy oil field.

The platform, with 4000-tonne topside, would be an Ove Arup & Partners-designed self-installing ACE platform. Read more: Xcite selects ACE platform for Bentley

Image: The Maari DrillACE platform, deployed offshore New Zealand. Photo from Arup.

Aibel will work with engineering and project management company AMEC, acting as XER's project management contractor, to deliver the ACE platform, Xcite said this morning. July 23, Aibel said the project would result in a "substantial amount of work" for its yard in Thailand, with engineering support from Singapore. 

The Bentley field covers about 70sq km, in Block 9/3b, license P1078, 8km southeast of the Bressay field (operator: Statoil), 15km east of the Kraken field (operator: EnQuest) and 20 km north-northeast of the Bruce field (operator: BP).

Aibel said FEED studies are due to start in Q4 2014, with the EPC award following in the summer of 2015. The platform is expected to be in field in 2017, Aibel added.

In April, Xcite announced an MOU with Teekay Shipping for the use of a floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility, to be used for oil storage and offloading on Bentley.

In May, Xcite entered into a collaboration agreement with Statoil and Shell over the Bentley and Bressay fields in the North Sea.

The move could see the two heavy oil fields developed using the same infrastructure and follows the decision to “re-evaluate” the development concept for Bressay in November last year.

Commenting on the MOU with Aibel, Rupert Cole, CEO of Xcite Energy, said: "We are very pleased to have Aibel, with its experience and expertise in offshore projects, join the Bentley development group for the construction of the ACE platform, which has significant economic benefits over the life of the field, including rapid deployment and ease of decommissioning. This further validates our strategy and development plan as we continue to refine the project costs and reduce future schedule risk through the early involvement of our development partners, prior to submission of a field development plan."

Bentley is about 160km east of the Shetland Islands on the western edge of the Viking Graben. Oil reserves are about 257MM 2P, 10°-12° API, according to Xcite.

The license was granted to Xcite under a Promote License in 2003 and converted to a traditional license in 2005.

The field, discovered in 1977, is a four-way dip closed structure of Lower Eocene and Upper Palaeocene Dornoch sandstone reservoir. It has been delineated by nine well penetrations and recent 3D seismic from a 2011 program.

A phased development plan has been outlined to include two 20 slot platforms, with 4-5 laterals per well, with a floating storage and offloading vessel, and further subsea wells.

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