Maersk Drilling's Maersk Inspirer jack-up rig, converted to a production platform, has been towed to the Repsol-operated Yme oil field in the North Sea, offshore Norway, OKEA, a partner in the field said Monday.
"OKEA ASA...is pleased to announce that the onshore work on the production unit for the Yme field – the Mærsk Inspirer jack-up rig – has been completed and the rig has been safely installed at the Yme field. Following sail away from the Aker Egersund yard Mærsk Inspirer reached its targeted position at the Yme field in the evening of 31 December 2020," OKEA said.
According to OKEA, the jack-up process has been completed and the Yme New Development project is now moving into the phase for hook-up, commissioning, and preparation for production startup.
"Expected production start in 2021 remains unchanged and well within reach," OKEA said.
"This event represents a major milestone for the Yme New Development project and provides comfort to the targeted production start. Together with other ongoing projects, production from Yme will secure OKEA’s production growth in the years to come," said Erik Haugane, CEO of OKEA.
OKEA holds a 15% working interest in the Yme field which is expected to add production of 7,500 boepd net to OKEA at plateau, and 4,900 boepd net to OKEA on average over the first year.
To remind, Repsol, the operator of the field had in February 2020 said that the start of production would be delayed until the second half of 2020 as preparations took longer than expected.
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak then affected the modification works on the Maersk Inspirer rig designed for use as a production platform at the field, moving the rig works completion date to Q4 2020, and consequentially postponing the first oil date for some time in 2021.
In an update in August 2020, Repsol's partner Lotos said Repsol expected first oil in the third quarter of 2021, however, Lotos itself said that date, too, might be too optimistic, saying its position is more conservative, "with Q4 2021 estimated as the most likely time of starting production from the Yme field..."
The Yme is a field in the southeastern part of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, 130 kilometers northeast of the Ula field. The water depth is 77-93 meters.
The development plan includes the use of Maersk Drilling's Maersk Inspirer jack-up unit which will be used as a combined drilling and production platform for five years, with a five-year extension option.
The plan is to reuse the nine wells pre-drilled in 2009-2010 and to drill seven additional wells. Oil from the field will be transported with tankers and the gas will be reinjected.
Repsol is the operator with a 55% stake. Lotos owns 20%, OKEA has 15%, and KUFPEC holds 10%.