Canadian Natural Resources Halts Production at Ninian South
Canadian Natural Resources reports that petroleum production from the Ninian South Platform located in the United Kingdom portion of the Northern North Sea has been shut-in until mid-April 2003. Water injection operations at the platform continue. This proactive shut-in will facilitate the replacement of certain critical pipework in the oil process module. The replacement of this pipework significantly increases the reliability and integrity of the Ninian South Platform, which Canadian Natural took over operatorship of during December 2002. This maintenance program is unanticipated, but not unexpected, as management recognized the need to improve operability and reliability on these platforms at the time of taking over operatorship.
The Ninian South platform accommodates approximately 18,000 barrels per day of Canadian Natural's oil production from the Columba, Lyell and Strathspey fields as well as a portion of the Ninian fields production. Canadian Natural still expects to reach first quarter corporate production guidance of 235-240 thousand barrels per day of oil and liquids and 1,300 to 1,320 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production. However, this maintenance shut-down will impact the North Sea portion of production guidance in the first quarter. Production losses from maintenance shut-downs have been accounted for in Canadian Natural's annual production guidance and as such no revisions are required to previous yearly guidance estimates.
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