ConocoPhillips Receives DTI Approval for Saturn Development

ConocoPhillips has received approval from the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry for development of the Saturn Unit Area in the U.K. Southern North Sea.

First gas production from the Saturn Unit Area is expected in the fourth quarter of 2005 with an initial gross rate of approximately 75 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). Production is expected to increase to a maximum rate of around 170 mmcfd within a year following start-up.

"This project is another step toward our strategy of prolonged and efficient production from the North Sea," said Henry McGee, president of ConocoPhillips Europe & Africa. "It is a great example of where we can benefit from strong relationships with our partners, use our technical expertise and extensive experience in the North Sea, and link with our existing infrastructure. It clearly demonstrates that there are competitive opportunities in the U.K. continental shelf."

The Saturn Unit Area lies in blocks 48/10a and 48/10b of the U.K. continental shelf, 23 miles (37km) north of the Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System (LOGGS). Initially, the development will consist of three wells from a normally unattended six-slot wellhead platform, located over the suspended appraisal well in 82 feet (25m) of water. A 27-mile (43km), 14-inch gas export pipeline will tie the platform back to new reception facilities to be added to LOGGS.

ConocoPhillips (U.K.) Limited is the operator of the Saturn Unit Area and holds a participating interest of 42.9 percent. Other partners include: RWE Dea UK Development Limited, 35.1 percent; Venture Production (North Sea Developments) Limited, 19.6 percent; and ENI UK Limited, 2.4 percent.