Valiant Progresses on Don, Anticipates Start Up in Early '09

Valiant Petroleum has achieved of a number of key milestones in the development of Don South West and West Don including the

  • Mooring of the Northern Producer floating production facility;
  • Completion of major subsea construction work (including all pipeline laying); and
  • Successful drilling of the first oil production well on West Don.

In early November, following the completion of successful seatrials, the Northern Producer was towed to the Don Fields, located approximately 150 kilometers northeast of the Shetland Islands. The Northern Producer was safely moored between the two fields in approximately 500 feet of water. Offshore installation of the Northern Producer follows a six month refurbishment program at the McNulty construction facility in Newcastle-upon-Tyne which was completed on schedule.

The major subsea construction work has now been completed at the Don Fields, including all of the pipeline lay by the Technip CSO Apache. The offshore work program will now continue through November and December to install risers over the mid-water arch to connect the field pipelines to the Northern Producer and to install the submerged anchor loading system for tanker oil export.

The first production well drilled by the Transocean John Shaw semisubmersible drilling unit on West Don was successfully steered to penetrate in excess of 2,000 ft of the upper and lower Etive formation, the main productive reservoir in West Don. Initial results exhibit both good oil saturation and porosities at the high end of expectations. The liner has been successfully cemented and the well will now be completed for first oil. The John Shaw will then move to Don South West by the end of the year giving access for tree hook-up within January for the first West Don producer.

The Stena Spey semisubmersible drilling unit is also due to arrive in late January to accelerate the completion of development drilling.

As reported in the recent trading update, Valiant can confirm it continues to be fully compliant with all the terms of its debt facilities which together with the cash on its balance sheet in excess of £50m mean that Valiant remains fully funded beyond first production on both the West Don and Don South West fields.

"We are very pleased with the offshore progress and the West Don well results which have arrived on prognosis, and we look forward to finishing the hook-up phase and achieving first production within the first quarter," Valiant's Chief Executive, Peter Buchanan commented.


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