The FPSO Sevan Hummingbird has commenced oil production on Venture's Chestnut field, in the central UK North Sea. Venture is the Operator and holds a 69.875% working interest in the part of block 22/2a containing the Chestnut field. Chestnut has net recoverable reserves estimated at 6.8 million barrels of oil equivalent and initial average net production rates are expected to be between 6,000 and 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
A second Chestnut production well was spudded on September 7, 2008. This well will be completed and tied-in during early 2009 and is expected to both significantly increase production rates, recoverable reserves and extend the field life. Investment in this second production well was sanctioned in May 2008 and on current plans will be drilled and brought onstream in less than nine months.
The Sevan Hummingbird is based on Sevan's unique and patented technology and is the first cylindrical FPSO to be installed in the North Sea. Sevan's FPSOs are designed to provide higher uptime, better motions and lower operating costs than conventional units.
The Sevan Hummingbird will be working under a 2.5 + 2 year charter contract with Venture Production Plc. The geo-stationary FPSO has an oil storage capacity of 300,000 barrels and is equipped with an oil processing capacity of 30,000 barrels per day and a water injection capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.
Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive, said, "Bringing Chestnut into production is an important milestone for Venture. Not only will Chestnut make a significant contribution to group production but it is also one of the smallest stand alone oil field developments in the North Sea.
"Utilizing innovative new technology, Venture has been able to unlock the potential of an oil field which was originally discovered 22 years ago and represents a great team achievement by all our partners involved in the field development.
"Completion of this project has taken a bit longer than we had originally anticipated but, given that we sanctioned this development when oil prices were less than a third of where they are today, it is a fantastically valuable project for Venture and its co-venturers."
Sevan Marine's CEO Jan Erik Tveteraas added, "This is a major milestone for Sevan and marks the start of our North Sea operations. We are proud to introduce a new and improved floating production technology to these harsh environments."
In addition to the FPSO Sevan Hummingbird, Sevan has signed contracts for the charter of three other production units. The Company's first FPSO, the Sevan Piranema, has been producing since October 2007, off the coast of Brazil for Petrobras, with a production uptime of more than 99% in the last six months.
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