Petrofac To Act as Duty-Holder on Paladin's North Sea Fields

Petrofac Production Services (formerly PGS Production Services), has entered into a pre-operatorship contract to assist Paladin Expro Limited in taking over the operatorship of the Montrose and Arbroath production platforms.

Paladin Expro Limited has signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire a majority shareholding in the Montrose, Arbroath and Arkwright Fields from BP and Amerada Hess, and, subject to regulatory and joint venture partner approvals, will become the license operator. Paladin has entered into an alliance with Petrofac and Helix RDS, the independent petroleum consultancy, to operate the fields.

On completion of the acquisition, and subject to regulatory and joint venture partner approvals, Petrofac will act as duty holder on the platforms on behalf of Paladin. If approved, this will be the first time a facilities management company has taken on this role for fixed platforms in the North Sea. Under the alliance, Petrofac will be responsible for the safe and effective operation of the production facilities. Helix RDS will provide reservoir and well management, with Paladin responsible for the overall control of all activity within the licence area. Petrofac is in the process of recruiting its team for the operations management of the fields. Offshore staff will mainly be sourced from the current Arbroath and Montrose workforce whilst the onshore support team will comprise of existing Petrofac staff with a number of new recruits.

Petrofac will bring a wealth of experience of operations from its successful operations on other North Sea platforms and vessels. Currently the company supports the operation of around twenty fields for a number of clients. Petrofac is also the duty holder of the Northern Producer floating production facility, operating on ChevronTexaco's Galley oilfield since 1997.

Jim Atack, Managing Director of Petrofac Production Services in Aberdeen, said: "The contract with Paladin, under which Petrofac will become the duty holder on these fixed UK North Sea platforms, is the next milestone both for the development of our company and for the North Sea.

"This innovative method of working is indicative of the way the industry must move in the UK North Sea, and maintains Petrofac's position in the vanguard of the service industry,"