Nexen: Buzzard Oil Field Start Delayed Due to Bad Weather

LONDON Jan 02, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Nexen Inc. (NXY) said Tuesday the start date for its Buzzard oil field in the U.K. North Sea had been delayed again due to severe weather conditions.

The field operator is still in the final stages of hooking up and commissioning the production facilities, but "particularly bad weather" had hampered the process, according to Nexen spokeswoman Sucharita Sethi.

She added the start of commercial oil flows from the Buzzard field was "imminent."

Nexen had hoped to start commercial oil flows by the end of 2006, delayed from the original November start date, also on inclement weather.

Last year, the operator said Buzzard was expected to produce 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first quarter 2007.

The field should hit peak production of 200,000 boe/d by mid-2007, according to BP PLC (BP), which operates the Forties Pipeline System where Buzzard crude will be added to the Forties crude blend.

Nexen holds a 43.2% stake in the project, BG Group PLC (BRG) owns a 21.7% stake, Petro-Canada (PCZ) has a 29.9% share and Edinburgh Oil & Gas holds the remaining 5.2%.

Buzzard has an estimated 550 million barrels of recoverable reserves, making it one of the largest discoveries in the U.K. North Sea in decades.

"The oil is a medium gravity, sour crude with an API of 32.6 degrees," the company said.

The company had earlier said oil from the field would be a light, 32 degree API product.

Crude from Buzzard will be exported from the production platform through an 18 inch pipeline to the Forties Pipeline System, some 19 miles away, Nexen said on its Web site.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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