Apache Resumes Production at Forties Field in North Sea

Apache said that production from its Forties Field located 140 miles northeast of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea has resumed after being down for a period of 27 hours. The field shut-down occurred early Tuesday morning, Nov. 2, after an electric power failure on the Forties Charlie platform, which provides the transportation connection for Forties oil and gas to the export pipeline. During initial re-start of the field, safety systems detected smoke within a pressurized control module for the Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant on Forties Charlie platform. Investigation by the Emergency Response Team (ERT) confirmed an electrical fire within the control module. The fire was quickly extinguished and the plant safely isolated. There were no injuries to personnel and damage was limited to the single control module.

An independent Apache team from onshore was immediately mobilized and joined by members of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who are undertaking thorough investigations to identify the cause of the incident. The investigation team, working closely with the platform staff and onshore support team, approved re-start of the platform power plant Tuesday at 11:55 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Field production was resumed at 5:10 a.m. GMT Wednesday.

Field production is expected to reach approximately 65,000 barrels per day within 48 hours. The NGL plant on Charlie will remain shut down until all repairs are completed following review of recommendations arising from the incident investigations. After completion of repairs, expected within seven days, pre-incident production levels above 70,000 barrels per day are expected.