The Rhum development is a subsea tieback to the BP-operated Bruce field and is expected to access recoverable reserves of 800 billion cubic feet of gas (23 billion cubic meters). Gas will be exported onwards from Bruce via the Frigg pipeline system to St Fergus and associated condensate will be piped via Bruce into the Forties Pipeline System.
With the combination of a high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) gas reservoir developed using a long distance subsea tie-back, Rhum is a world first.
Production is through well 3/29a-5, which was drilled earlier this year, at an initial rate of 130 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. It is planned that production will build up to a plateau of 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day when all three development wells are on stream.
BP's Director for North Sea operations, Dave Blackwood, said Rhum represents a new type of development for BP in the North Sea:
"Rhum has presented a unique set of challenges for us in dealing with high reservoir pressures and temperatures, combined with the length of subsea tie-back, and the modifications required on the Bruce platform. The project team has demonstrated how with dedication and innovation, these challenges can be overcome in order to increase recovery from the UKCS, maximize our investment in the existing infrastructure, and help secure future gas supply for the UK."
The Rhum field is located 240 miles northeast of Aberdeen in 109 meters (350 feet) of water.
Rhum, which lies in block 3/29, was discovered in 1977 by well 3/29a-2. An earlier well (3/29-1) which was drilled in 1973, was abandoned due to the high pressure gas. Development costs of the Rhum project was approximate £350 million .
The field was considered, until now, the largest remaining undeveloped gas reservoir in the UK Continental Shelf. An appraisal well (3/29-a4) was drilled in 2000. This well will be completed as part of the development drilling program expected to commence later this year.
The field is tied back to the BP-operated Bruce platform via a 28 mile (44km) export line which involves a 22 inch High Integrity, Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) protected pipe-in-pipe main pipeline.
The Rhum field is a high temperature, high pressure reservoir, experiencing down-hole temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius and pressures of 12,700psi. For comparison purposes, the Bruce gas field, records temperatures of 99 degrees Celsius and pressures of 6,000psi.
Plateau production of 300 million standard cubic feet a day is expected from the field.
The partners in the Rhum field are BP (Operator) 50% and Iranian Oil Company UK Limited 50%.
As part of the development, new gas processing facilities were installed on the existing Bruce Compression Reception Centre (CR) platform.
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