ABT to Use Production Buoy System Offshore Ireland

ABT to Use Production Buoy System Offshore Ireland

ABT Oil & Gas has farmed into two dormant oil fields offshore Ireland, according to statements Wednesday from a number of parties connected to the transaction.

Enegi Oil – a 50-percent joint venture owner of ABT – said that partners in the SEL 2/07 license located in the North Celtic Sea Basin have agreed to farm out an aggregate 50-percent interest in the license's Helvick oil field and Dunmore oil discovery to ABT. In return, ABT has agreed to a work program designed to prove the commerciality of these fields and advance them to the production of first oil.

ABT has agreed to carry out a three-stage work program. The first phase requires the firm to determine commerciality over Dunmore and Helvick. Phase two will see it prepare and apply a Petroleum Lease. Phase three will see it submit a formal Plan of Development to first oil using ABT's low-cost development systems.

ABT Oil & Gas uses a floating buoy concept developed by its other JV owner Advanced Buoy Technology (ABTechnology). The idea is to use a specialized production buoy that pumps oil to a seabed storage tank on fields that are too small to be exploited commercially by traditional means, such as using an FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) vessel.

The Helvick field, which is some 25 miles off the south coast of Ireland, flowed at 5,200 barrels of oil per day (bopd) when Irish explorer Providence Resources, one of the partners in the field, tested it 13 years ago. But further detailed analysis indicated that the Helvick reservoir is small in size, which led Providence to deem it as unviable from a commercial point of view. Analysts at Irish stockbroker Davy believe "it is not unreasonable to assume that up to three million barrels of oil could be recovered" from Helvick.

The Dunmore field – located 13 miles north of the Hook Head discovery in the Celtic Sea and which has flowed at 2,100 bopd in the past – is thought to represent a similar development scenario to Helvick.

Both of these fields fit ABT's and Enegi's strategy of pursuing the development of assets that have previously been deemed too small to be commercialized. This deal represents ABT's first venture offshore Ireland, but previously ABT and Enegi identified more than 50 discovered fields in the UK North Sea that they believe are technically suitable for developing using the production buoy technology.


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