Shell to Develop Penguin Fields

Shell Expro has received DTI approval to develop the Penguin fields in the Northern North Sea, some 93 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands.

Although the first Penguin field was discovered in 1974, advances in technology and greater well engineering efficiency have only now allowed the cluster to become a viable proposition for development. Sub-sea completions will be tied-back via a single 16-inch diameter production pipeline to the Brent Charlie Platform, which at 65km will create the longest sub-sea tie-back in the UKCS. The first well is expected to be spud before the end of September with a target for first oil by the end of 2002.”

The initial development of Penguins will be with four horizontal wells at a cost of £230 million. It is anticipated that successful results from these wells will result in the drilling of up to five additional horizontal wells and increase the total investment to £350 million.

The Penguins cluster comprises a group of five fields, of which three contain oil with relatively large quantities of associated solution gas, and two contain gas and condensate. The development scheme encompasses four of the five fields, with reserves of oil, gas and condensate estimated at about 90 million boe. Penguins hydrocarbons will be commingled with Brent production and processed using the existing facilities on the Brent Charlie platform. Gas will be evacuated via FLAGS to St. Fergus and oil evacuated via the Brent System to Sullom Voe.

The Penguin Cluster is located in Blocks 211/13a and 211/14 (both 100% Shell/Esso). The Brent field is located some 31 miles south of the nearest Penguin field. Production will be based on natural pressure depletion aided by gas lift or possibly gas injection later in field life. The project will be executed in two distinct phases. The first phase comprises the drilling and hook up of four horizontal wells, one each in Penguin A and Penguin D, and two in Penguin C. The second phase is likely to involve drilling a further five wells, one in Penguin A, two more in Penguin C, one in Penguin D and one in Penguin E.

The development will utilize some major state of the art technology:

  • Sub-sea completions will be tied-back via a single 16-inch diameter production pipeline to the Brent Charlie Platform, which at 65km will be the longest sub-sea tie-back in the UKCS.
  • The pipeline will be encased within a 22-inch insulated carrier pipe (“pipe-in-pipe”) to maintain the temperature of the oil and gas and prevent the formation of wax or hydrates in the pipeline. An umbilical will be laid alongside for power and control.
  • The platform equipment will include a Slug Suppression System incorporating advanced control algorithms developed by Shell Global Solutions.

The following contract have been awarded:

  • Drilling Rig - Diamond Offshore Drilling UK Ltd
  • Pipeline Fabrication and installation - European Marine Contractors (EMC) Ltd
  • Sub-sea completion product services - Halliburton Completion Product Services
  • Sub-sea controls - Kvaerner Oilfield Products (KOP), UK.
  • Sub-sea front end and detail design - J P Kenny (Consultancy by BOREAS)
  • Sub-sea umbilical - Kvaerner Oilfield Products (KOP), Norway.
  • Sub-sea Xmas Trees - ABB Vetco Gray
  • Topside Engineering - Northern Integrated Services Ltd(Wood Group Engineering & AMEC joint venture)