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Total starts up production at UK's Culzean field

Jun 11, 2019
3 min read
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Total has started up production from the Culzean gas condensate field 230 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeen, in the UK.

Located on Block 22/25a and with a plateau production of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), Culzean will account for around 5 per cent of the UK’s gas consumption, bringing to 18 per cent the proportion of the country’s gas demand supplied by Total.

“The Culzean project is delivered ahead of schedule and more than 10 per cent below the initial budget, which represents Capex savings of more than 500 million dollars. This has been achieved thanks to the excellent performance of the project teams in charge of the construction and drilling operations,” said Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production at Total.

“Culzean is a good example of our efforts to upgrade our portfolio in the North Sea over the last years, notably by bringing Total and Maersk Oil together. The Culzean field is located in the Central Graben area, close to the Elgin-Franklin fields, also operated by Total, thus generating synergies.”

Discovered in 2008 by Maersk Oil, the Culzean field contains resources estimated between 250 and 300 million barrels of oil equivalent. The project includes the drilling of six wells, the construction of three bridge-linked platforms and of a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) unit. Gas from Culzean is exported via the CATS pipeline and the UK National Grid whilst condensate is stored in the FSO for offloading by shuttle tanker.

Glenn Morrall, a research associate with Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team, said:“Culzean is the third UK project to start production this year, but the biggest by a long way. It shows that there is still appetite for big developments in UK waters. “There is some risk, though. Culzean gas is HP/HT, which makes it more challenging to operate successfully. However, Total brings a wealth of experience in operating HP/HT fields, for example at the nearby Elgin-Franklin fields. For the French major, production from Culzean will play a big part in it being the biggest UK gas producer for the foreseeable future." 

New digital technologies applied on the project, such as the latest smart rooms, will deliver higher efficiency during operations and create a safer working environment. Total operates Culzean with a 49.99 per cent participating interest, alongside BP (32 per cent) and JX Nippon (18.01 per cent).

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