Video: Total's Culzean Project Nearly Complete

February 14, 2019

The Culzean topsides facility items were installed ahead of schedule by the world’s largest operating heavy lift vessel SSCV Thialf. (Photo: Total)
The Culzean topsides facility items were installed ahead of schedule by the world’s largest operating heavy lift vessel SSCV Thialf. (Photo: Total)

Super major Total said its Culzean Field development in the central North Sea is nearly complete, heading toward expected first production from the largest UK gas field to be sanctioned for quarter of a century in summer 2019.

Culzean is a high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) gas condensate field in water depths of 300 feet in the East Central Graben area, located 260 km off the coast of Aberdeen. It consists of lean gas accumulations in sandstone of the Jurassic Pentland formation and the Triassic Skaggerak formation.

With resources now estimated at 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent, production at Culzean is expected to continue for at least 13 years, providing 5% of total UK gas demand when production is at plateau in 2020.

The project, which includes a standalone three bridge-linked platform development with dry gas export via the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) and liquids export via a new-build floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO), was sanctioned in August 2015, and is being led by operator Total alongside partners BP (32%) and JX Nippon (18.01%).

According to Total, it has been able to reduce project capital costs by $500 million — 11% of the project estimate at sanction — through higher drilling efficiency, robust upfront design, project planning and supply chain deflation.


Culzean timeline
2008Discovery
2009-2011Appraisal wells
2014Concept development
2015Project sanction
2016Wellhead jacket installation
2016Commence drilling wells
2017Key subsea pipelines, structures and FSO mooring installation
2017Central processing facility and utilities & living quarters jackets installation
2018Topsides installation
2018Riser bases installation and subsea tie-ins
2018FSO installation
2018Hook-up and commissioning
2019Drilling of first three wells complete
2019Planned first gas




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