Aibel bags Catcher topsides contract

April 8, 2014

Aibel’s Singapore office has been awarded a contract by BW Offshore Singapore to provide topside engineering services for the UK North Sea Catcher project, operated by Premier Oil.

The scope includes detailed engineering services for around 7800-tonne of topsides modules for the Catcher floating production storage and offloading vessel (pictured).

Aibel’s Singapore office has previously carried out the FEED for the Catcher FPSO topsides as part of an integrated team with BW Offshore.

Aibel says: "The project represents a substantial amount of work for the Singapore office this year and into 2015. At its peak it will engage around 130 employees."

Earlier this month, BW Offshore signed a letter of award (LOA) with Premier Oil for an FPSO to operate on Catcher for seven years, with extension options.

Catcher, in block 28/9, is owned by Premier Oil (50%, operator), Cairn Energy (30%) and MOL (20%).

A draft development work program and budget for the US$2.2 billion development has been issued to partners and the FDP submitted to DECC, initiating the process to target sanction in the second quarter of 2014.

Gross reserves under the initial development scheme are 92MM boe.  The development scheme makes provision for the tie-back of additional discoveries in the future.

BW Offshore's scope includes the delivery of the FPSO, mooring system, installation and operation of the unit throughout the charter period.

The FPSO will have a processing capacity of 60,000bopd and a storage capacity of 650,000bbl.

BW Offshore will order a new built hull from Japan for the project, while conversion and integration work will be performed in Singapore. The FPSO shall be ready for production mid-2017.

The project will be financed by a project specific bank facility of US$800 million and BW Offshore's existing liquidity.

Tenders for the well systems, Christmas trees and a heavy duty jack-up rig were received in July and August 2013, and have been fully evaluated, says Premier. It is envisaged that development drilling, which will entail the continuous drilling of up to 14 producers and 8 water injectors, will commence in 2015 and continue beyond first oil.

Subsea FEED for the project was completed in the first half of 2013. EPCI bids for the subsea facilities were received in October 2013 and bid evaluation is on schedule to meet the April 2014 target date for contract award.

The initial Catcher well drilled in May 2010 encountered good quality Cromarty reservoir with an estimated net oil pay of 27m. A follow up sidetrack, Catcher East, also encountered excellent quality oil bearing sandstones and a common pressure regime. 

Phase 2 of the Catcher area exploration was completed in late 2010 and early 2011 with successful discoveries in Varadero and Burgman. In June 2012, the Carnaby well, which was the first well to be drilled on the western part of the block, encountered good quality oil.  It is expected that the Carnaby discovery will contribute as a future tie back to the Catcher development.

In April 2013, the Bonneville exploration well and its side track discovered oil. The estimated oil in place from the Bonneville discoveries is about 30MM bbl, which is in line with pre-drill predictions.It is anticipated that the discoveries will be tied back to the Catcher field development.



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