Chevron makes Alder decision

Chevron North Sea Ltd. will proceed with its high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) Alder field development in the North Sea after receiving regulatory approval.

Discovered in 1975, Chevron says new technology has helped to unlock the central North Sea field.

This includes: Chevron’s first HPHT vertical mono-bore tree, vacuum insulated tubing, a reeled 10in/16in pipe-in-pipe system, and a high-integrity pressure protection system (HIPPS). The central North Sea project has a planned design capacity of 110 MMcf/d of natural gas and 14,000 b/d of condensate. First production is expected in 2016.

The HPHT gas condensate field is in Block 15/29a, in 150m water depth, about 160km from the Scottish coastline, and 60km from the UK/Norway median line.

The field will be developed via a single subsea well tied back to the Britannia platform (pictured), in Block 16/26, about 28km away. The well will be drilled with the semisubmersible drilling rig Blackford Dolphin, which is contracted to Chevron from mid-2015 for a multi-well program.

Produced fluids will be processed at a new dedicated module, to be installed on the Britannia bridge linked platform (BLP), which will be constructed by ConocoPhillips, acting as substitute operator on behalf of Britannia Operator Limited.

Gas is exported to the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) terminal at St. Fergus.

Discovered in 1975, the Alder project has taken many years to bring to economic development," says Chevron. "The development of the field has been enabled by innovative technology applications combining to meet the challenges of a HPHT reservoir, and exporting fluids 28km to Britannia."

Detailed engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of the complete subsea system, including the main subsea manifold, subsea isolation valve manifold, 28km of pipe-in-pipe flow line, umbilical and tie-in spools, was awarded to Technip. This work will be carried out in Aberdeen, Evanton and Newcastle.

Design, manufacture and supply of two high pressure, HPHT vertical, subsea monobore trees and wellheads, was awarded to OneSubsea UK Limited at their Leeds facility.

Design, manufacture and supply of the subsea control system, including the hydraulic and electrical components to be installed both at subsea and on the Britannia BLP, has been awarded to Aker Solutions at their Aberdeen facility.

“Our decision to proceed with this valuable asset was enabled by the right combination of technology, commercial conditions and knowledge sharing on high pressure high temperature experience,” said Craig May, managing director of Chevron Upstream Europe."

Field development is also being assisted by the enhanced small field allowance introduced by the UK Government in 2012, which recognizes the importance of developing small fields in a mature oil and gas basin."

Chevron North Sea Limited operates the project and has a 73.684%, with co-venturer ConocoPhillips (UK) Limited (26.316%).

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