BP, Maersk Oil Approve Front-End Engineering and Design for Harding

BP and its partner, Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited, said that they have approved front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the Harding Area Gas Project. This is the first stage of a development project to allow the production of gas from the Harding area and prolong the life of the North Sea field beyond 2015.

The project, which comprises a new gas processing platform bridge-linked to the existing Harding platform, will have the potential to process and export gas at rates of up to 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd). The project would also involve the subsea tie-back of the Devenick field and a gas export pipeline to connect the new gas platform to the existing Brae gas transmission pipeline.

The final project approval decision is expected toward the end of the year.

The FEED contractors are AMEC, JP Kenny, and Production Services Network. The value of the FEED work will be approximately GBP8.4 million (US$15 million), and work is expected to be complete at the end of 2006.

“The development of the Harding Area Gas Project would not only help maximize the recovery of gas from the North Sea, but also extend the life of the Harding field beyond 2015,” said Gordon Birrell, director and business unit leader for BP’s North Sea business. “This would be an exciting new project for BP and the North Sea.”

The Harding field partners are BP (70%, operator) and Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd (30%).The Harding field currently produces oil at around 30,000 barrels per day and also includes a substantial undeveloped gas resource. It is located 200 miles northeast of Aberdeen, U.K. in BP-operated block 9/23b in water depths of 360 feet.

Harding was discovered in 1987 and has been producing oil since 1996. Devenick, which was discovered in 1983, is a high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) gas discovery. Partners in Devenick are BP (operator) and RWE Dea UK.

Maersk Olie Og Gas As (Maersk Oil) is a privately owned Danish company and part of the A.P.Moller–Maersk Group. Active since 1962, Maersk Oil operates some 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent in Denmark, U.K., Kazakhstan, and Qatar. In addition, Maersk Oil is active in several other countries including Algeria, Brazil, and Angola. Maersk Oil North Sea UK is the main operator on Janice, Gryphon, Leadon, Tullich, and Dumbarton.

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