Venture Completes Phase I of Sycamore Development

Venture Production has successfully completed of Phase 1 of the development of the Sycamore oil field in UKCS Block 16/12a and the release of the semisubmersible Santa Fe 135.

Completion of the drilling operations will allow installation of the subsea pipeline bundle during December and January. The 4.5 km pipeline bundle has been fabricated at Subsea 7's Wester facility near Wick, with components supplied by manufacturers in Dundee and Montrose. Fabrication is on schedule to be completed in early December.

Phase I of the development entailed the re-entering of two exploration wells in the field that had been left suspended for over 12 years , and their completion as production wells . These were tested on restricted chokes at rates of 7,500 and 12,700 barrels of oil per day ('bopd') respectively . Both wells have exceed ed anticipated flow-rates. The surface section of a third, new production well in the northern part of the Sycamore field was also drilled and suspended to allow installation of subsea flow-lines prior to being completed during Phase 2 of the development in 2003.

Commenting on the project, Bruce Dingwall, Venture's Chief Executive said, 'Reaching this significant development milestone on schedule and on budget is the result of a great team effort by everybody involved in the Sycamore project - partners, contractors and the DTI. The Sycamore project is a prime example of Venture's business strategy; the acquisition and rejuvenation of 'stranded' reserves, particularly through operatorship of the assets'.