The new 10 inch, 33km pipeline has the capacity to flow up to 40,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") and will process production from all the fields in the Greater Kittiwake Area ("GKA"), a central North Sea oil production hub operated and 50% owned by Venture.
Replacing the existing shuttle tanker and loading buoy system for oil export, the new pipeline is expected to substantially improve operational uptime, lower overall operating costs and allow GKA field life to be extended. It links the Kittiwake platform to BP's Unity platform and the decision to invest in this new piece of North Sea infrastructure reflects Venture's confidence that the GKA fields will continue to produce economic volumes for at least another decade. These volumes include current production from the existing Kittiwake, Mallard, Gadwall and Goosander fields as well as potential production from the Grouse field where an appraisal has been successfully drilled. In addition, as yet undeveloped discoveries including the Christian and Bligh fields may also benefit from the new export route.
Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive of Venture said:
"I would like to thank and commend the team involved in completing this major construction project. It was delivered on time and, despite some very difficult offshore operating conditions due to the weather this summer, close to the original budget. This new pipeline is a major step forward in the optimisation of performance from the GKA fields. Since taking over operatorship in late 2003, through a series of successful rejuvenation projects and new wells we have lifted gross production potential from around 5,000 bopd to over 30,000 bopd today. However, up until now, unavoidable restrictions as a result of using shuttle tankers and the old seabed storage system have held us back from being able to maximize production from these fields. We can now press ahead with the further development of the Kittiwake area with increased confidence and I look forward to seeing production from this hub continuing well beyond 2015."
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