First oil was produced from the Premier Oil-operated Catcher field, offshore UK on Dec. 23 with initial stable production expected at around 10,000 barrels per day.
This will be ramped up in phases, Premier Oil said in a statement, increasing to approximately 60,000 barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2018.
Premier Oil chief executive Tony Durrant said: “As production ramps up in the first half of 2018, the increased cash flows will play an important role in Premier’s plans for debt reduction. The Catcher Area project also demonstrates Premier’s continuing commitment to invest in the UK.”
The initial hydrocarbon volumes were produced by BW Offshore’s FPSO which started a hook-up and commissioning period in October. The FPSO, owned and operated by BW Offshore, will start a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years. The unit has an oil storage capacity of 650,000 barrels and a processing capacity of up to 60,000 barrels per day. The FPSO has a design life of 20 years of uninterrupted operations.
The phased approach allows for management of the well stock whilst commissioning of the gas processing modules and full water injection systems on the FPSO are completed. Production in the Catcher Area will add 30,000 barrels of oil per day (net) to Premier’s daily production.
"The Catcher development project is nearing completion on time and well within budget. We are very pleased with the effective hook-up and commissioning, which reflects extensive preparations through-out the construction phase and a well-planned offshore installation program," said Carl Arnet, the CEO of BW Offshore.
The Catcher field partnership is made up of Premier Oil (50 per cent), Cairn Energy (20 per cent), MOL Group (20 per cent) and Dyas (10 per cent).