Shell Turns on the Tap at Goldeneye Field in the North Sea

Shell U.K. Limited on behalf of co-venturers Esso Exploration and Production UK Ltd, Paladin Resources plc and Centrica Energy, report that production has commenced from the Goldeneye gas condensate field in the Outer Moray Firth, 100km north of St Fergus on the Northeast coast of Scotland.

Kieron McFadyen, Technical Director for Shell Exploration & Production in Europe said: "The £300 million Goldeneye project has commenced production safely, on time and on budget, demonstrating world class project delivery. This is an excellent example of Shell's ability to grow its integrated gas business.

"Goldeneye will provide around 3% of the gas for the UK, so will make a significant contribution to securing energy for the UK in the future, as the country becomes a net importer of gas. Plateau gas production is estimated to be some 300 million standard cubic feet of gas and associated liquids a day."

UK Energy Minister Mike O'Brien said: "Goldeneye will help secure several thousand jobs in Scotland where gas lands at St Fergus and Shell's Natural Gas Liquids Plant in Mossmorran. This venture highlights the continued development of the UK Continental Shelf – it is excellent news for the UK and confirms the opportunities which remain in the basin."

This is only one of the solutions Shell has developed to secure the import of energy supplies to the UK and the first time gas has been brought ashore from the Outer Moray Firth area. Working with the co-venturers, Shell has employed some innovative technical solutions to the challenging geological and operational situations.

The Goldeneye field was initially regarded as economically marginal, mainly due to the distance from existing infrastructure. However, Shell engineers came up with an innovative solution of transferring gas and condensate at reservoir pressure from an unmanned platform to the onshore processing Shell/Esso facility at St Fergus. The pipeline is 105km in length, making it the longest tied back full well stream pipeline in the UK Continental Shelf.

Tom Botts, CEO of Shell Exploration & Production in Europe and Managing Director of Shell Expro at the time of the Goldeneye venture launch in 2002, said: I am delighted to see gas production from a project I watched take shape from the outset. The Goldeneye field was first discovered in 1996 and it took some clever thinking to reach the final solutions. This is a clear demonstration of Shell's world-class technical ability and of the value of developing long-life integrated gas projects. We employ some of the best engineers in the world in our centre of excellence in the North-east of Scotland, with skills and expertise we aim to use in innovative solutions on a global scale."