Blake Flank Development Gets Green Light from DTI

BG Group and its partners Talisman Energy and Paladin Resources received approval from the UK Department of Trade and Industry for the £60 million Blake Flank development in the UK North Sea. First oil production from Blake Flank which is an extension of the original BG-operated Blake Channel field in the same production license is scheduled for the third quarter of 2003. Due to the increased oil production rate of the combined development, the economic life of the Blake field should be extended by an estimated two years. The facilities will comprise two production wells and a single water injector tied into the existing Blake Production Manifold.

BG Group Executive Vice President for the UK Jon Wormley said: "Blake Flank has taken only one year to progress from the final appraisal well to project sanction, and is a prime example of just-in-time development at its best. In using existing infrastructure to extend the life of the original field, it is also a testament to best contemporary working practice in the North Sea."

Energy Minister Brian Wilson said: "It is encouraging to see so many North Sea operators looking afresh at their assets, and finding new and economic ways to exploit the UK Continental Shelf. With reserves at over 20 million barrels over ten years, the Blake Flank development will make a welcome addition to existing UK production." The Blake Flank structure lies 64 miles from Aberdeen in the Outer Moray Firth, directly to the north east of, and immediately adjacent to, the Blake Channel structure, which was brought on stream by the field owners in June 2001. An appraisal well on Blake Flank was spudded on September 17, 2001, and this was followed by the testing of two zones and a sidetracking program.

The subsea controls contract has been awarded to Kvaerner, and that for subsea Christmas trees to Cameron Cooper. Tenders for the drilling unit and Subsea EPIC contract (Engineering, Procurement, Installation and Construction) are currently being evaluated, and award details are expected to be announced shortly.

BG is the operator and holds a 44% interest, with Talisman holding 53.6% and Paladin 2.4%.